Why does every single-family home need lightning protection?

Why does every single-family home need lightning protection?
22 December, 2023

Thunderstorms are not only beautiful, but also a dangerous phenomenon. It's no secret that when they break out, the safest place to be is indoors. This can be a single-family house, a residential or office building, a shopping center or another facility with adequate protection.

Unfortunately, many buildings and structures in Bulgaria do not have or have an outdated lightning protection system. This makes them not only vulnerable to thunderstorms, but the risk to them is greater. The reason lies in the modern technologies that we all use - televisions, computers, electrical appliances, alarm systems and many others. 

While the anti-surge system can protect the equipment inside the buildings, the lightning protection system protects the entire structure – inside and out. 

You are not sure what kind of protection your home needs? In this article, we at Blitz Guard will focus on single-family homes. We will tell you what to pay attention to and how lightning protection will protect your house and ensure the safety of your family.

Why is lightning protection a necessity?

An interesting fact is that in countries like the USA and England, lightning strikes cause the most property damage. There are between 100,000 and 200,000 insurance claims each year. The cost of these insurance claims totals about 1 billion dollars per year. 

According to the latest study conducted in Bulgaria, the most lightning strikes occur in Western and part of Northern Bulgaria - Sofia, Lovech, Kostendil, Vratsa. In these areas, 12 lightning strikes per 1 square meter per year. While in Eastern Bulgaria, the figure is significantly smaller - between  4 and 6 thunderstorms. 

But if you look at the weather forecast, you'll notice for yourself that there are trends for the weather across the country to change significantly. That's why experts are adamant that the frequency of these phenomena will increase dramatically in the coming years. The reason lies not only in global warming, but also in deforestation and pollution of nature. 

The same study mentions that about 90% of buildings do not have lightning rods or lightning protection system installed. < /p>

Here, many building and house owners can look at the statistics and say to themselves: "12 lightning strikes per square meter is not enough!" Our home will hardly be in danger!". 

We are specialists with many years of experience and we will share with you from our practice that natural phenomena are unpredictable. No matter how accurate the forecast, there is no way you can be 100% prepared for what lies ahead. Also, when a thunderstorm hits the area you live in, it's too late to look for a lightning protection system. 

Is it enough to have lightning rod?

Some houses and buildings are more likely to attract lightning than others . The risk assessment is determined by the height of the structure, how close it is to other buildings and vegetation. There are three main levels of risk:

   • Low - the building is on one level and is surrounded by other houses of similar height.

   • Medium  - the building is on two levels, it is surrounded by homes of a similar height or those on one level, around which the rest of the structures are of the same height.

   • Tall - Detached homes that are not surrounded by other structures or split-level homes that are surrounded by houses of lesser height.  

Regardless of what the level of risk for Your single-family home, experts advise not to rely on luck! 

Some people think that installing a lightning rod is enough to protect their property from damage, but this is only one element of the whole system ! If you want to ensure the safety of not only the structure, but also the people inside it, you need a lightning protection system. 

What does the lightning protection system include? 

Mlniepremnik is the first element of the system. Its function is to fix the location of the lightning strike while protecting the building itself. Based on the shape and size of the structure, keep the following design rules in mind:

   • There must be lightning rods or elements of the lightning protection system on all roof projections such as chimneys. 

   • They must be located on the roof itself. 

Connecting wires work together with the lightning arresters and their task is to safely conduct the electric charge  from lightning to ground, not to the structure. In single-family homes, they must be installed from the roof to ground level at opposite ends. No less than two conductors must be installed leading to ground from each lightning rod. 

If there are metal gutters or vents on the roof, they must be secured and connected to the lightning protection system . 

Although direct lightning strikes cause the most damage to the home, damage to electrical equipment is also possible. Even an indirect shock can cause a surge in electrical or telephone lines or other systems such as cable TV or satellite dishes.

Therefore, the third element of the system is  protection of electrical equipment.

Grounding system is the fourth element of lightning protection. Its function is to conduct the lightning current safely to the ground. It usually consists of grounding rods, busbars, or a combination of these that are placed in the ground.

How to protect yourself during a thunderstorm?

When you hear thunder, a storm is approaching. to you. There are several things you can do to protect yourself from a possible blow:

   •  Come inside. Make sure you are in a solid structure or hardtop vehicle.

   •  Never be the tallest object around or near the tallest object. If you end up in a field where you are the tallest object, move  to a lower area. Crouch down, but in no case lie on the ground. You should have minimal contact with the ground. The less contact you have with the ground, the harder it is for electricity to pass through you to the ground, making you a less attractive target to strike.

   •  Do not take shelter under a tree or near a metal fence. 

   •  Objects that are tall or objects that are good conductors of electricity will attract lightning. Stay away from them.

If you have already gone home, but your home does not have lightning protection, it is recommended to:

   •  Avoid tall or metal objects. 

   •  Stay away from anything connected to cables or pipes (TVs, lights, appliances, faucets, etc.). If lightning strikes your home, the conductive properties of wires and plumbing will carry it to you.

Need professional advice?

We, at Blitz Guard, we have many years of experience and are ready to become your new partner! Contact our consultants by phone: 02/ 963 13 22.

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