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Lightning Safety for Buildings: A Guide for Businesses

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lightning safety for buildings a guide for businesses

Lightning strikes can be a spectacular show in the sky, but they pose a real threat to buildings and businesses. Each year, lightning causes numerous fires, equipment damage and even injuries in the workplace. According to recent statistics, an average of 30 people get injured from lightning strikes a year and two people die.

As a business owner, understanding the risks associated with lightning is the first step in safeguarding your premises and your people. Read on for our guide on how to keep your business safe from lightning.

What is a lightning protection system?

Firstly, how exactly do you protect your building from lightning? It's not as daunting as it sounds. The key is to have a comprehensive lightning protection system in place.

This system will typically include lightning rods (or air terminals), conductors and ground electrodes. These components work together to safely redirect the lightning's electrical charge away from your building and into the ground.

The importance of surge protection

Another aspect of lightning safety for buildings is protecting your electronic equipment. Lightning strikes can cause power surges that fry circuits and destroy your devices.

To help avoid this, surge protection devices can be a lifesaver. Their job is to help regulate the voltage supplied to an electronic device, by blocking or grounding voltages above a safe threshold. They are the first line of defence that protects your valuable equipment from unexpected electrical shocks.

Regular maintenance and inspection

Your commercial lightning protection system is only as good as its last service. This is because there's more to lightning protection than just installing some equipment. Regular maintenance and inspections are essential. After all, what good is a safety system if it's not working correctly when you need it most?

To keep your lightning protection system working well, it's important to have a qualified professional inspect it for any signs of damage or wear and ensure that all parts, including rods, wires and ground connections, are functioning properly. They will also test the grounding system’s effectiveness, make sure all connections are secure and check the surge protectors for damage. It's a good idea to schedule these inspections every year and also after any major storms.

Employee training and awareness

Lightning safety isn't just about the physical building. It’s also about the people inside it. Educating your employees on what to do during a lightning storm is vital. Simple steps like staying away from windows, avoiding water sources and not using landline phones can make a big difference.

Put an emergency plan in place in the event of a lightning strike. This plan should include safe evacuation routes, designated safe areas and emergency contact numbers. Regular drills and updates on the plan will ensure that everyone knows what to do when a storm hits.

Secure your business with Volta Compliance

Lightning protection isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. The type of system your building needs depends on several factors, like the building’s size, location and structure. That’s why getting a professional assessment is crucial.

Contact Volta Compliance today and take the first step towards securing your business against lightning risks. Our team of experts specialises in lightning safety for buildings. We provide comprehensive assessments, install state-of-the-art protection systems and offer regular maintenance and training services.

Call us on 0113 397 1361 or visit our website to learn more about our services and request a quote.

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Richard Carr Volta Compliance
Richard Carr
Managing Director
Richard is the Director of Volta Compliance. He is a fully qualified approved electrician graded with the JIB. Richard has over 20 years electrical experience working on commercial and industrial installations.