How to protect your home from lightning


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – It may not seem like it, but lightning can be a serious threat to homes, businesses and safety. Every year in the U.S. there are numerous lightning-related insurance claims totaling millions and millions of dollars.

Alabama certainly isn’t exempt from that. In 2021 the state ranked No. 9 in the country with nearly 2,300 claims totaling more than $29 million.

The average cost of those claims? Just under $13,000. That is much more than the cost of having a lightning protection system installed for your home.

Lightning protection systems can protect your home from lightning.
Lightning protection systems can protect your home from lightning.(WSFA 12 News)

A lightning strike can cause a fire, physical damage and lead to an electrical surge. Each of these can cause headaches and set a homeowner back thousands and thousands of dollars that they may not be prepared to spend.

To best prepare your home or business for lightning, which we get plenty of in Alabama, there are a few things to consider:

  • Getting a lightning protection system with lightning rods installed
  • Ensuring your lightning protection system includes whole-home surge protection
  • Making sure your electronics and appliances are unplugged ahead of possible thunderstorms

The lightning protection system and surge protection can cost a couple to several thousand dollars. There may also be additional fees such as installation and inspection fees to consider.

Lightning protection systems can protect your home from lightning.
Lightning protection systems can protect your home from lightning.(WSFA 12 News)

Even with the cost involved, having your home be as safe as possible from lightning may be worth it. You may be wondering what exactly a lightning protection system is and how in functions.

I’m glad you asked!

A lightning protection system consists of multiple parts, including lightning rods, main conductors, grounds, bonds, and surge protectors. It’s important to note that every business and installer is different; not all lightning protection systems will come equipped with whole-home surge protection. Be sure you know exactly what you’re getting before signing the dotted line.

A lightning protection system can protect your home from lightning.
A lightning protection system can protect your home from lightning.(Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.)

A successfully installed lightning protection system will be around 99% effective at preventing lightning damage. That’s because the system consists of highly conductive copper and aluminum materials that provide a low resistance path for the lightning’s electricity to take into the ground — to the grounding system. It’s vital to have a great grounding system around your home so it can “kill off” the dangerous electricity/surge caused by the lightning strike.

Having this system set up, in addition to the surge protection, will keep your home safe from not just direct lightning strikes but indirect ones that strike away from your home.

Copyright 2022 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.



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