New Applications for Lightning Protection Cited in 2014 Safety Standard Document

MARYVILLE, Mo., Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The newly-released 2014 edition of NFPA 780, Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems includes several new applications and requirements for projects specifying lightning protection.

According to NFPA, the updated standard “responds to industry developments with added coverage of new topics to increase protection against dangerous lightning hazards.”

NFPA 780 was adopted by the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) long ago as a reference for the organization and its members.  LPI is a not-for-profit group that promotes lightning safety, awareness and education and is a leading resource for lightning protection system requirements.

“NFPA 780 provides important resource information for AHJs, project designers, engineers, insurance professionals and anyone responsible for protection of lives and property from dangers associated with lightning,” said Bud VanSickle, executive director of the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI).  “The 2014 document addresses the newest lightning protection applications and provides updated resource material for known safety challenges.”

The 84 page document includes new references and sections to address applications including:

  • Realignment of requirements for strike termination devices (air terminals or lightning rods).
  • Consolidation of bonding requirements (to reduce potential differences created by lightning currents), and coordination with current NEC requirements.
  • Fixed metal objects on buildings with movable or rotating metal components (examples include: cranes, wind socks, observatories, traffic cameras, radar dishes, and opening skylights).
  • Lightning protection criteria and guidance for airfield lighting circuits.
  • Lightning protection guidance for solar systems and arrays (frequently installed on roof tops where risk of exposure is greatest), which addresses the increased demand for renewable and alternative energy sources.
  • Changes to requirements for catenary systems (a lightning protection system consisting of overhead wire/s), and applications to improve protection of open areas.
  • A change back to preferred measurements in inch-pound units from metric.
  • Revision to include structural protection for electric generating plants.
  • Clarification that new requirements are retroactive to existing systems only when specifically noted.

The 2014 edition of NFPA 780 was prepared by the Technical Committee on Lightning Protection and issued by the Standards Council last June to immediately supersede all previous editions of the document.

“NFPA 780 provides crucial information for lightning protection professionals,” explained VanSickle.  “NFPA continues to serve as the basis for our own LPI-175 reference document, used by LPI-certified designers, installers and inspectors.”

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link:
Kimberly Loehr

SOURCE Lightning Safety Alliance