Safety Basics: Lightning Protection and Grounding

Most people don’t think about the risks of lightning unless they’re camping during a rainstorm. After all, your home will keep you safe, dry, and warm. For electricians, however, lightning protection is of top concern and is addressed in every commercial, industrial, or oil and gas electrical project.

Here at Benchmark Electrical Solutions, we handle electrical project management in a way that prioritizes safety for our employees. In our safety series, though, we wanted to also focus on the ways we prioritize safety for our clients, such as through lightning protection and grounding. If you’re in need of electrical contracting in Northern Colorado, then we’re the company for you. We think through every detail when handling your electrical project, including lightning protection and grounding. Keep reading to learn more, and then contact us today for electrical contracting in Northern Colorado.

The Risks of Lightning on Your Building’s Electricity

Lightning can discharge up to 200,000 amps in a fraction of a second; it’s beautiful to watch from afar, but it can cause serious problems for your building’s electricity. Even with indirect strikes, the voltage spikes can be catastrophic to a building’s electrical systems. Think about all the electrical components associated with your building: computers, telephone wires, internet cables, lights, and more. Both direct and indirect lightning strikes can have large impacts on all of these electrical components, among others.


What Is Lightning Protection and Grounding?

Lightning protection and grounding (or earthing) equipment is therefore essential to make sure you, your building, and your employees are protected and safe from harm.

On average, lightning strikes the U.S. approximately 25 million times a year and causes an estimated $1 billion per year in structural damages. By incorporating a lightning protection system into your building, you can decrease the risk of fire and protect against physical damage. For many commercial electrical projects (such as schools, hospitals, historic landmarks, public venues, etc.), insurers now require lightning protection.

Risk Assessment

First, the risk must be assessed for your commercial, oil and gas, or industrial electrical project. Your electrical project management team can do this for you. This risk assessment can determine how at risk your structure is, along with finding the most efficient and effective lightning protection system (LPS) for you.

External and Internal Structural Protections

Your electrical contracts manager will design, install, and maintain both internal and external lightning protection for your building. Examples of external protection include air and earth termination systems and down conductors. Examples of internal protection include surge protection devices and equipotential bonding.

International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Standards

International standards exist in order to make sure businesses do their part to keep everyone safe. This all happens from the moment an electrical contracts manager is contacted for the job. IEC Standard 62305 makes clear the standards for lightning protection worldwide. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and CSA Group (CSA) also publish standards that are often followed in the U.S. UL 467, UL 96A, and CSA B72 are all noteworthy here as well.

When you choose Benchmark Electrical Solutions for electrical contracting, we’ll make sure your entire project meets the appropriate standards for lightning protection.

Electrical Contracting in Northern Colorado

Don’t let your building be at risk for damage due to lightning. Don’t let your building pose a threat to the community because it’s susceptible to lightning damage. Instead, work with Benchmark Electrical Solutions for electrical contracting in Northern Colorado. We’ll evaluate the risks and design a lightning protection system that works for your building and is aligned to the appropriate standards. Contact us today to get started with electrical contracting.