Week 83 | April 24, 2014
In October 2013, The Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) published a press release through PRNewswire, “Unapproved Lightning Protection Devices Fail to Prevent Fires at Oil Refineries”. It falsely states that two incidents in Venezuela were the result of Lightning Eliminators’ product, namely the Dissipation Array System (DAS). None of the information was true. In addition, another person was making claims about another incident in Indonesia, which was also blatantly untrue. I covered all of these incidents in my blog, Jan 30, 2014 “The Naysayers – Lightning Protection | Part Two: Misspelled, Misunderstood and Manhandled Series”
Originally we reached out to PRNewswire to inform them of the error, but they flatly refused to remove it, stating that the LPI said they had proof and stood by the press release. They insisted that we contact LPI directly (so much for the responsibility of the press.) A good example that once cannot believe everything they read in the news. Through the power of press releases and distribution companies, they will print anything they are paid to print, and refer you to the entity that paid them for satisfaction. This does not always work out well. They do not care if it is true or false, nor will they take responsibility. Something to think about!
After months of going back and forth with LPI, requesting the proof and requesting that they correct the inaccuracy, LPI finally distributed a second press release through PRNewswire, a retraction (by the way, they never did submit the proof to us.) It is important to note that each time a press release is distributed through an agency, like PRNewswire, it cost money. It is not done lightly, nor is it something one wants to do, so the fact that LPI did this speaks volumes.
We at Lightning Eliminators would like to thank the LPI for taking this action and doing the right thing. We genuinely appreciate their taking responsibility and correcting the record publically. We also hope that moving forward they will work with us or at least include us in their lightning protection efforts.
That got me thinking about the Lightning Protection Industry as a whole. I have written before about the different types of lightning protection, most recently in my three part series on Collection vs. Prevention. Taking the approach that all exist and pointing out the differences. Posing questions and facts, but not bashing my competition. I have difficulty understanding why anybody would promote their own business and/or products by bashing or attempting to make their competition look bad. In my opinion, when you try to promote your own technology or product by sabotage you have already lost. Perhaps that is just me? In my experience with several technology companies over the past 20 years, that particular approach has never worked out well. There is no question that lightning rods have been around for years, and that they were a great invention by the late great Ben Franklin. We applaud our friends in the lightning rod business and feel that there is plenty of business to go around, so guys and gals “Why can’t we all just get along?”
Manipulating lightning is nothing new, lest I point out that without manipulating lightning, the same Mr. Franklin would not have been able to invent electricity as we know it. Our technology works and has done for over 40 years. One can choose to prefer collection over prevention (and by prevention we mean preventing a strike within a specific designated area) and can even like it better, but to make claims, without proof or scientific study is just wrong. We have conducted and continue to conduct testing; we are always evolving our existing products to meet new challenges in the marketplace. We invest heavily in R & D and will continue to do so.
In the meantime, we have well over 3000 installations worldwide and service some of the largest and most reputable companies in the world. We are happy to work with the Lightning Rod Industry and our fellow engineers. We welcome unity, and always extend an open invitation. We would love to develop standards around Charge Transfer Technology (CTS), but as we have mentioned, a standard cannot be created around one product and the lightning rod folks refuse to create one. We extend olive branch always to the lightning rod associations, companies and engineers. Let’s work together. All we do ask is that unless you have unequivocal proof that our product does not work, please stop making stuff up. Feel free to contact us if you would like information, our doors are always open. There is plenty of room in the lightning protection business for the end users to choose what approach they would rather take and as we honor and respect lightning rods and the industry that promotes them, we ask the same towards us. No technology is 100% perfect, however, at Lightning Eliminators our success rate is over 99%. I would say that those are great odds.
If you are in the lightning rod business and want to truly contribute to the betterment of lightning protection, excluding CTS is not helping, including it and taking a collaborative approach is and should be the path forward and we hope that the LPI and other organizations will start to consider all lightning protection technologies when talking to the end user. Feel free to contact us at any time.
As always 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 and LinkedIn for more information and updates as well as some great photos.