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Lightning Protection

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Lightning Protection

Lighting protection is an important part of facilities services and maintaining your lightning protection system properly, in line with lightning protection regulations in the UK, is often a requirement as part of your building insurance.

At Robinsons Facilities Services, we offer lightning protection maintenance and testing across Yorkshire. This ensures your system is kept in good working order and protects your building in bad weather.

What is a Lightning Protection System?

Lightning protection for buildings is a system designed to protect a structure from lightning damage. The system works by intercepting lightning strikes and directing the electrical current into the ground where it dissipates harmlessly.

Dangers of Lightning and Risks to Commercial Buildings

Obviously, lightning poses a very serious danger. Lightning doesn’t have to strike a person or an object in order to pose a big risk.

It can cause fires, damage to buildings and serious injuries to people. Certain types of building may be more at risk than others, such as those with metal roofs or tall structures.

That is why it is so important to make sure your lightning protection system is up to date and working properly.

How Does a Lightning Protection System Work?

A lightning protection system typically consists of four parts: air termination, down conductors, earth electrodes and surge protection devices.

The air termination system is designed to intercept lightning strikes and direct the electrical current into the down conductors.

The down conductors are made of metal (usually copper or aluminium) and they carry the electrical current from the air termination system into the earth electrodes.

The earth electrodes provide a path for the electrical current to dissipate safely into the ground.

The surge protection devices are installed in electrical equipment to protect it from damage caused by the lightning strike.

What Can Go Wrong With Lightning Protection Systems?

Like any other safety system in a commercial building, it is possible that a lightning protection system can develop issues over time. Some potential problems may stem from:

  • Faulty Components: As with any system, individual components within the lightning protection system, such as surge suppressors or connectors, can fail due to manufacturing defects or wear and tear.
  • Metal Damage: The down conductors may be exposed to the elements and may be vulnerable to physical damage, such as from falling objects or severe weather. Any damage to the conductors can reduce their ability to attract lightning safely.
  • Poor Grounding: Proper grounding is essential for a lightning protection system to work effectively. If the grounding system is inadequate or damaged, it can prevent the safe dissipation of electrical energy.
  • Overloading: In the event of a direct lightning strike, the system may become overloaded with electrical energy. While the system is designed to manage this energy, there is always a risk that it may be overwhelmed, resulting in damage to the building or the protection system itself.

These are just a few of the potential problems that can occur over time, which is why it is so important to keep your lightning protection system in good working order.

Lightning Protection Maintenance

Lightning protection testing and maintenance is essential.

It is important to have your lightning protection system regularly checked and tested by a qualified engineer. This will ensure that it is working properly and that any damaged components are replaced.

In order to comply with BS6651 and BSEN 62305, lightning protection systems are to be tested and certified on an annual basis. Our team can prepare a planned maintenance schedule to ensure your business stays compliant, and that you have a record of your lighting protection maintenance.

Lightning Protection Repairs

In addition, we can arrange one-off checks or repairs as required.

If you need urgent lightning protection system repairs, we can be with you quickly and efficiently due to our extensive Yorkshire coverage. It may be that storm damage or vandalism has affected your lighting protection, but you can rest assured that our engineers will repair your system so you can be compliant once more.

Thunderstorms are always a risk, regardless of your location. They can also take place at any time in the year. We even offer a 24/7 emergency call out service to ensure your issues are quickly repaired.

Lightning Protection System Installation

We also offer a lightning protection system installation service. Our flexible and expert team can provide you with a bespoke installation with minimal disruption to your business.

If you are building a new property or altering an existing one, we can install a lightning protection system to BS EN 62305 standards anywhere in Yorkshire. We will work with you from the start to ensure your project runs smoothly and that you have the right level of protection for your needs, as well as creating a risk assessment for your commercial property.

Working across Yorkshire, we cover North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and South Yorkshire and offer a fast, efficient response time to all breakdowns and repairs. Contact us today for all planned, reactive maintenance or emergency call out. Call 01423 226578 or get in touch to see how Robinsons Facilities Services can help.

Lightning Protection FAQs

IEC/BS EN 62305-1 is the British Standard for lightning protection, and the documentation can provide handy advice for your system, outlining the principles for the protection of structures and people against lightning strikes.

It is not a legal requirement for every building to have lightning protection, but it is essential that you comply with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. A risk assessment is needed to work out the risk of lightning to your building, and you may need lighting protection to meet your responsibilities.

There are a huge number of examples of buildings needing lightning protection including factories, medical facilities, historical buildings, shopping centres, and more. Tall buildings are at a higher risk, but every building needs its own risk assessment.

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