Week 116 | October 8, 2015
Summer has ended and Fall is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere and Spring has sprung in the Southern Hemisphere and Summer will soon be here. This is the time of year when we especially need to inspect and repair Lightning Protection Systems. This summer had a boat-load of lightning in the United States and I am sure if I were to go around and inspect all your facilities, I would find some damaged equipment or something out of place. As I have mentioned time and time again, it is imperative that you inspect and maintain your lightning protection, grounding and surge systems throughout your facilities. Remember my piece “Mind your Ps and Ms — ASAP!” ? It is even more important now!
2015 is set to be the warmest and wettest on record. From the last 6 months of 2014 through June 2015 was the warmest 12 month stretch since weather recording began 136 years ago. The torrential downpours and lightning infested skies have plagued a good portion of the U.S., and even the drought-ridden California Coast has experienced its weirdest weather patterns in a long time bring rain seemingly out of nowhere with a barrage of lightning events.
Flooding has occurred across the United States, most recently in South Carolina, as well as in France, the Netherlands, Guatemala and more…
Due to the volatile and even more than usual unpredictable weather around the globe, ensuring security and safety is even more imperative. Gearing up for the winter and/or repairing or preparing for the summer your, lightning protection systems need maintenance just like any other piece of equipment—to think that you can just place it there and never look back is not an option. At Lightning Eliminators, our DAS Systems are under warrantee for one year periods and we will not extend or renew the warrantee unless the terms are met, which include our installation of the product or inspection of installation by a third party and an inspection with maintenance (if required) every year from time of installation (as specified in our Terms and Conditions .) There is a reason for this…nobody can expect a piece of equipment to work properly without being cared for. Heads-up to anybody out there that has our product and hasn’t gotten it inspected or maintained annually? You are not under warrantee. So I recommend you get it checked! But the same is true for all systems and if you have not been doing this you should do it.
Set-up a maintenance plan bi-annually, early fall and spring; lightning protection should be treated like any of your other assets. Even more so, because it is protecting your facility from explosions, halting operations, electronics damage and more…your assets are the value of your company and your biggest revenue generator, what protects them should be on the top of your list for attention.
For those of you saying “what are the chances of getting hit by lightning” or “we don’t need lightning protection” take a moment to read the reports which I wrote about in November 2014 “Vindicated – Lightning is Increasing” . Lightning is becoming more frequent, and gaining strength. Places that did not experience a large volume of lightning strikes in the past, such as California are realizing lightning is now a threat and a large one. Recently I saw pictures from Hungary (by Erik Rippel from Cyclonerik Photos), not known for its huge electrical storms which boggled the mind.
Odds are if you have a facility, it has either been struck by lightning already and you are just not aware that it has impacted your facility since nothing went boom. The primary effects of lightning are obvious, such as lightning striking a petroleum storage tank and it exploding or a transformer and the electricity going out, but when lightning strikes even feet away the current is carried through the ground into your sensitive electronics, degrading them and one day they don’t work, and you have no idea why? This is covered at greater length in a paper I co-wrote with Lee Howard and Brian Daugherty “The Case of Lightning Protection Solutions for Electric Power Facilities”. Regardless of the focus being on Electric Power facilities, the same applies to most facilities and situations. It is a very good read, or so I have been told… Bring me to the paper
Lightning is happening and eventually you will feel the results through explosion, equipment failure, downtime, loss of product, regulatory fines, liabilities and more. So implement a complete lightning protection solution, pay attention to it, inspect it, maintain it and fix it or it will come back to haunt you.
If you have any lightning stories you would like to share with us, positive or negative and/or if you have any questions or need additional information please feel free to contact me at LightningDiva@lecglobal.com
Be careful out there! Visit www.lightningprotection.com for all your lightning protection needs. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for more information and updates as well as some great photos.