· Lightning rods-inconspicuous slender rods installed on the roof at industry-specified intervals.
· Conductors-aluminum or copper cables that interconnect the lightning rods and the other parts of the system.
· Ground terminations-metal rods driven into the earth to redirect the lightning current harmlessly to the ground.
· Surge arrestors and suppressors-devices installed in conjunction with a lightning protection system to safeguard electrical wiring and electronic systems and equipment.
So is a lightning protection system a wise purchase for your home? Most lightning experts recommend that individuals owning homes with several of the following characteristics or features should purchase a lightning protection system.
· Previously has been struck by lightning
· Located in a neighborhood which has experienced lightning damage
· Located in a community or city that has experienced over 25 thunderstorm days a year
· Located in an isolated and open area, or on a hill
· Has aluminum siding
· Has a brick, stone, or metal chimney
· Has a high or large satellite dish
· Has a metal or wood roof
· Has tall trees overhanging the roof
· Lacks surge protection on the electrical panel or on incoming phone lines
Lightning protection systems should meet the code established by Underwriters Laboratories and the LPI. Note that some insurers provide premium credits for homes with these types of certified systems.
For an average size home, the cost for this system ranges from $2,000 to $3,000.
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Copyright, 2008. International Risk Management Institute, Inc.