Build & Protect, Summer 2017

Recognizing the importance of disaster mitigation for the architect and engineering communities, Build & Protect, is a newsletter written specifically for A&E’s to provide unique content related to lightning protection system (LPS) design, specification, quality assurance, inspection and maintenance. 
Find out how the inclusion of safety Standard-compliant lightning protection systems in your state-of-the-art designs can benefit the building environment.

It’s Lightning Safety Awareness Week! Are You #LightningSmart?

The NWS and NOAA launched the National Lightning Safety Awareness Week campaign in 2001 to raise awareness about the dangers of lightning, a deadly, yet underrated killer. Since the beginning of the campaign, lightning deaths in the U.S. have dramatically dropped. Unfortunately, property and structural losses due to lightning continue to rise.
In support of this year’s LSA Week campaign, June 18-24, LPI is emphasizing the importance of protecting people, property and places. Once again, we are partnering with the National Lightning Safety Council to encourage awareness and share information throughout the week on several topics:

Sunday: An Introduction to Lightning and Lightning Safety

Monday: The Science of Lightning and Thunder

Tuesday: Lightning Safety Outdoors

Wednesday: Lightning Safety Indoors

Thursday: Lightning Safety and Sports Activities

Friday: Medical Effects on Lightning Victims

Saturday: Protecting Your Home from Lightning

Help us build lightning safe communities by learning more about lightning’s dangers, and by sharing these important safety and protection resources!

Lightning Wreaking Havoc on Your Home? Get Grounded!

Lightning packs a powerful punch that can carry up to 300 million volts of electrical energy. When compared to your average household electrical current of 120 volts and 15 amps, lightning’s charge is super-charged! Since it only takes a single lightning strike to wreak havoc, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), created a new infographic to illustrate the numerous ways lightning can enter a home and cause destruction and disruption, including:
  • Through a direct strike that can ignite fires or explode roofing, brick or concrete
  • Via roof projections like weather vanes, antennas and satellite dishes
  • Through a strike to a chimney or prominent roof dormer
  • Via telephone or power lines that can harm internal wiring and electronic equipment
  • Via surges delivered through a nearby tree
  • Through home systems like garage doors or cable lines
  • Via home amenities like irrigation systems, invisible fences and electric gates
  • Through metallic lines, piping or CSST gas piping

A professionally-installed LPS can immediately ground lightning to protect life and property against a leading weather threat. Learn more about the benefits of LPS for your home by contacting a LPI-certified professional in your area.

Building Lightning Safe – News & Notes from the Community
Increase in Lightning Claims Sparks Attention 
According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), the number of U.S. homeowners insurance claims caused by lightning rose in 2016. Despite this rise in claims from 2015 and more than $825 million paid out last year to more than 100,00 policyholders, the I.I.I. cites a decrease in average costs paid on claims. Not surprisingly, Florida led the list for states with the most claims, followed by Texas, Georgia and Louisiana. 
“Not only does lightning result in deadly home fires, it can cause severe damage to appliances, electronics, computers and equipment, phone systems, electrical fixtures and the electrical foundation of a home,” said James Lynch, FCAS MAAA and chief actuary and vice president of research and information services at I.I.I.
 Fortunately, homeowners can opt for the installation of safety Standard-compliant LPS to protect their most valuable assets. The I.I.I. has created a helpful video to provide tips to help homeowners choose the right system from the right professionals. Visit these links for more information about lightning protection and insurance.
Resilient Reasons Why Architects and Engineers are Specifying LPS 

Although barely visible, the aesthetically-pleasing LPS on this commercial building in Virginia, provides safe and effective protection against a leading cause of property damage.

Building codes set minimum standards that may, or may not, include LPS. But by including LPS in owner checklists, designers can deliver a higher level of quality assurance and value engineering for building resilience.
 LPS has become increasingly important for the building process, as businesses and planners continue to emphasize sustainable approaches to design and construction. Adding LPS as part of a Build & Protect plan for Green and LEED structures is an important resiliency measure that can prevent surge interruptions and downtime and provide protection against a leading cause of property damage. Learn more about ways that LPS is improving sustainability here.
LPI Partners with NWS to Pitch Lightning Safety on “School Day at the K”
In the spirit of helping to build lightning safe communities, LPI was proud to support our partners from the National Weather Service (NWS) in Kansas City at last month’s 19th annual “School Day at the K” event.
Our friend, Leon the Lightning Safety Lion was an honored VIP, distributing “When thunder roars, go indoors” lightning bolt visors and posing for photo ops with attendees at Kauffman Stadium. Dubbed the “largest educational field trip in Kansas City,” this special event has become a Royals tradition, attracting more than 20,000 students each year! Checkout more information about the annual event here.

Do you have a Building Lightning Safestory or perspective to share? Send us your news & notables for inclusion in an upcoming issue of Build & Protect.

Metal Roofing: Does it Increase a Structure’s Risk to Lightning?

Critical structures like emergency centers, hospitals, police departments and fire stations, are routinely equipped with LPS. Photo courtesy of Bonded Lightning Protection Systems, Ltd.The probabilities of lightning striking a metal-roofed structure are no more or less than lightning striking any other type of structure, yet questions often arise about metal roofs


The probabilities of lightning striking a metal-roofed structure are no more or less than lightning striking any other type of structure, yet questions often arise about metal roofs “attracting” lightning or providing built-in “protection” against lightning. Without the presence of a professionally-installed LPS, any structure is vulnerable to lightning; with or without a metal roof.

Metal roofs are not designed for electrical continuity or to provide structural lightning protection. The anchoring sections of roofing and siding systems are not constructed to carry current because, in most situations, the thickness of the metal used is insufficient to provide a guaranteed path for lightning.

 While a building’s structural steel will conduct lightning, it’s the bonding, interconnection and grounding provided by the LPS that dissipates lightning’s harmful electricity safely to ground. Arcing, side-flashing and potential differences can occur without the continuous preferred path to ground provided by LPS. Without the presence of the system, lightning can fight its way through the mechanical, electrical, communication and HVAC systems–none of which are designed to provide a safe path to ground for lightning. A complete LPS is needed to interconnect structural steel and grounded systems at grade level and roof level to equalize potential and keep the lightning on a preferred path to ground.
Assessing the need for lightning protection typically involves comparing the expected lightning frequency with the tolerable lightning frequency risk–which means weighing the lightning probability against its consequence to life and environment. This is why critical structures and facilities like hospitals, emergency centers, police and fire stations, nursing homes and schools are routinely equipped with LPS, as they cannot afford to be vulnerable.The June issue of Metal Construction News further examines the subject of LPS for metal roofing. Click here to read the article.
Is Your Lightning Protection Missing a Key Component?
Wondering if your lightning protection system design meets quality assurance guidelines? Not sure if your project specifications comply with industry requirements and nationally-recognized safety Standards?

LPI-IP provides a LPS review and certification service more thorough and complete than any previous inspection program on the market.

Third-party inspection can identify lightning protection system oversights, improper materials or methods, issues with compliance and the need for repairs or recommended maintenance. LPI-IP inspection and certification services provide peace of mind to ensure materials and methods comply with recommended practices and industry safety Standards. LPI-IP offers users the option of Standard specific inspections (LPI 175, NFPA 780 and/or UL96A), to accommodate market needs and a wider range of projects. Quality service, multiple inspection options and ease-of-use are a few reasons why LPI-IP is the industry’s fastest growing lightning protection inspection service. For more information about the LPI-IP Inspection Program visit or contact:

Tim Harger, Program Manager
14048 Petronella Drive, Suite 104 |  Libertyville, IL 60048
Phone: (224) 433-6680 | Fax: (847) 996-0401 |  Email Address:

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There’s a saying that goes, “An architect’s dream is an engineer’s nightmare.” A&E’s seeking to keep pace with lightning protection trends to help fortify their building dreams and nightmares, won’t want to miss an issue of Build & Protect!

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