Lightning damage is an issue that landlords and facility managers around the world. In the UK alone, lightning strikes the ground over 300,000 times a year, and the resulting electrical surges cause hundreds of injuries each year, with the latest HSE statistics reporting that there were eight deaths in 2016/17 due to contact with unstable electrical discharges.
Therefore, landlords and facility managers should realise the importance of meeting the legal requirements for lightning protection, preventing putting tenants and employees at risk, and avoiding potentially damaging consequences for all parties.
A lightning protection system is designed to protect a structure from damage by intercepting strikes, passing the currents to the ground.
Insightuk’s engineers have a thorough knowledge of the regulations and British Standards, ensuring that each lightning protection system is designed, installed and tested to peak efficiency. Our cost-effective service is designed to give you complete peace of mind.
Do I need lightning protection?
It is not a legal requirement for all buildings and structures to have lightning protection, according to the risk control publication RC35 'Protection of buildings against lightning strikes'. However, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 applies to most business, and states that lightning protection systems should be tested in accordance with the relevant British Standard (either BS 6651:1999 or BS EN 62305).
If you have a new electrical mains system installed, it will need surge protection for any indirect lightning strikes.
How to become compliant
In order to become compliant, a risk assessment will primarily need to be carried out before any work commences on the premises. The level of risk will be determined in order to decide how much protection is necessary.
The responsible party will then need to install a lightning protection service (LPS) on the site. The responsible party must ensure that their LPS is the same grade as their lightning protection level (LPL) e.g. if the threat level is one, the protection level must be equal to or better than level one.
The LPS must be designed with potential thermal and explosive effects in mind, in either an internal or external system. If an external system is chosen, it must have the following three requirements:
An air termination system – to intercept direct lightning
A down conductor system – for the safe discharge of lightning
An earth termination system – to distribute the lightning current
All systems must exist in accordance with BS EN/IEC 62305 codes.
How often should lightning protection be tested?
All lightning protection systems are inspected and tested at least once per year, as per the BS EN 62305 and Electricity at Work Regulations – a requirement of British and European Standards.
Penalties for non-compliance
Adherence to BS EN/IEC 62305 for the installation of lightning protection systems is mandatory. Each year, you must have a risk assessment done to ensure that all lighting protection systems are fully compliant.
It is highly recommended that all responsible parties carry out regular risk assessments on their structures to minimise the possibility of a threat to the health and safety of their tenants. If the lightning protection systems do not meet the current standards, this could lead to serious injury and potential loss of life.
What can Insightuk do for you?
As part of our service, Insightuk will provide risk assessments, installation and maintenance of lightning protection systems and condition reports, as well as annual certification to meet the BS EN/IEC 62305 standard.
Pulling from Insightuk’s height safety expertise is a large part of what makes our lightning protection installation and testing services one of the most competitive and highly skilled in the country.
For the month of January, there is a 10% discount for all new enquiries made in January, so get in touch with us if you require protection from potential lightning damage.
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