You can’t control the weather, but you can still defend yourself and your property against the threat of severe lightning damage. With Dobbyn Lightning Protection, we ensure your property is properly grounded and protected in the event of a worst-case scenario.
Q - Does lightning protection prevent lightning from striking?
A - Nothing can prevent lightning from striking. If lightning is zeroed in on a particular object it will strike regardless of any device or mechanism on the ground. The purpose of a lightning protection system is to intercept the lightning strike and conduct it safely to ground. Strike termination devices (lightning rods) are placed at regular intervals on the highest and most exposed parts of a structure. These then become the most likely point of attachment for the lightning bolt, which will then travel to ground via the lightning protection conductor.
Q – Do lightning rods attract strikes?
A – No. A lightning protection system is a network of components designed to intercept a direct strike and provide a preferred path to ground. The system discharges the dangerous electricity, leaving the occupants and structure safe from harm.
Q - Do trees protect a structure against lightning?
A - No. And unfortunately, lightning can side-flash from a tree and hit a nearby structure. In addition, lightning traveling along tree roots can enter a structure by arcing over to nearby telephone, cable and electrical lines, introducing harmful surges. Lightning can also cause heavy limbs to split and fall onto nearby structures. Unless a tree is equipped with a protection system, it—and structures close to it—can be vulnerable to damage by lightning.
Q - What does the lightning protection system look like? Will it detract from the aesthetics of the structure?
A - Entrusting your lightning protection system design and installation to Dobbyn Lightning Protection ensures a safe and effective system that won’t compromise aesthetics. In most situations, lightning protection systems are neat and inconspicuous. When properly installed, components such as strike termination devices, conductors and grounding are barely visible to the untrained eye, and there are a number of design and installation measures that can be employed to make lightning protection even less noticeable. Contracting with DLP will ensure attention is paid to aesthetic details for every structure and roof type.
Q – Is lightning protection expensive?
A - Lightning protection is an affordable amenity that offers protection against a leading cause of property damage. While pricing can run as little as 0.1% of the value of the structure, costs for protection vary depending on the size of the structure, location, construction, roof type and grounding conditions. As a rule of thumb, lightning protection is typically less expensive than other building systems and amenities like security, plumbing, generators and specialty lighting fixtures. Dobbyn Lightning Protection would be happy to provide pricing information for your project and region.
Q - When is the best time to have lightning protection installed?
A - Lightning protection can be installed on existing structures and new construction, as options are available to incorporate installation into any phase of construction. However, lightning protection that is specified during the planning and design phase provides the best options for concealing components. Early planning can also allow for better coordination of work with other trades. This can be beneficial when making provisions for interior conductor runs, grounding locations, and the use of compatible roofing adhesives. LPI-certified specialists can provide design, specification, consultation and installation services to develop a plan that best fits your project’s needs.
Q - Is maintenance needed for lightning protection systems?
A - Once your lightning protection system is installed, it’s important to take measures to ensure the system remains safe and effective. CSA and NFPA standards recommend periodic inspections to ensure system continuity and integrity. This is especially important if modifications to your structure have occurred (e.g., roof renovations, satellite dish installations, HVAC alterations, etc.). Dobbyn Lightning Protection can advise you regarding inspection plans and industry requirements to ensure the continued performance of your lightning protection system.
Q - Why does the lightning protection system need to be connected to gas and water pipes? Doesn’t that pose a safety concern?
A - Common bonding connections are needed to eliminate safety concerns. Since lightning is traveling through the soil, it can be picked up on service lines in the ground, such as underground conduits, water pipes or gas lines, and feed a portion of the harmful current along these systems back into a structure. The lightning protection standards as well as the electrical code require all underground metallic piping systems (gas, water, electric, etc.) that enter the structure to be bonded together. The bonding does not introduce charges into your pipes, but rather brings all grounded systems to the same electrical potential as the lightning protection ground, thereby mitigating the risk of flashover during a lightning event.
Q - What do I need to know about quality assurance for my installation? Why are LPI credentials important for lightning protection?
A - LPI-certified specialists like DLP are dedicated to ensuring that today’s lightning protection systems provide the best possible quality in both materials and installation practices. Created in 1971, LPI’s testing program certifies excellence in system design, installation and inspection. The five examinations required to achieve full certification ensure that installers are competent in all aspects of structural lightning protection design. In addition, installing firms must have at least a Master Installer on staff in order to obtain system certifications through the Lightning Protection Institute Inspection Program.
Here Are Reasons Why Specifying LPI Credentials for Your Project is Important:
LPI-certified installers must successfully pass the industry’s most comprehensive testing requirements to receive certification.
Yearly recertification is required for Master Installers and Master Installer/Designers.
Certification assures that national safety Standards of LPI, NFPA and UL are met.
Certified installers and designers possess up-to-date knowledge of changes in safety standards and scientific findings in the industry.
Certified installers and designers possess experience in a highly specialized trade to ensure competence in system design, installation, inspection and maintenance.
Certified installers know the best methods and materials to ensure attention to quality and aesthetics.
Certification is voluntary within the industry, which means your LPI-certified specialist holds himself/herself to a stringent standard by electing to pursue the highest level of education and excellence in lightning protection.
Contracting with a LPI-certified specialist saves you time and money.
*Dobbyn Lightning Protection is the only LPI Certified installer in Western Canada.