September 22, 2023

Lightning is a extra complicated peril than it’s typically given credit score for being, in accordance with Tim Harger, government director of the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI). In a latest interview with Triple-I CEO Sean Kevelighan, Harger mentioned the significance of getting ready for and stopping harm from this danger, which is second solely to flooding relating to pricey climate occasions.

Folks sometimes take into consideration fireplace harm when they give thought to lightning. However Harger mentioned, “Past the fireplace is the destruction {of electrical} wires and infrastructure that helps every part we do to speak and to conduct enterprise.”

If lighting strikes any of those constructions, he mentioned, “Exercise is stopped.”

Harger cited the case of an East Coast furnishings producer that was struck.

“That one lightning strike price them simply over one million {dollars} in harm,” he mentioned. “Sure, there was the everyday fireplace that prompted structural harm, however what was impacted on the ‘inside’ was much more pricey. They’d broken stock, manufacturing downtime, and lack of income through the repairs.”

Funding in a lightning safety system might have saved this enterprise proprietor – and his insurer – the million {dollars} misplaced and prevented enterprise interruption. Almost $1 billion in lightning claims was paid out in 2018 to nearly 78,000 coverage holders, according to LPI.

“Lightning strikes a few 100 occasions each second,” Harger mentioned. “When put in correctly, lightning safety methods are scientifically confirmed to mitigate the dangers of a lightning strike.”

 A lightning safety system consists of six elements: 

  • Strike termination system,
  • Conductors,
  • Grounding,
  • Surge safety,
  • Potential equalization, and
  • Inspection. 

Architects and engineers play an essential function in specifying and designing these methods, and set up is accomplished by licensed lightning safety contractors. When correctly put in lightning is intercepted by the strike termination system and power is routed by means of the conductors and into the grounding system, stopping affect to the construction or electrical infrastructure.

“Companies already set up fireplace alarms and sprinkler methods to mitigate larger dangers of fires,” Harger mentioned. “Lightning safety methods forestall a lightning strike from inflicting any harm. So the funding in a lightning safety system prevents private harm and the pricey affect of even one strike.”

A number of insurers supply premium reductions for policyholders who put money into lightning safety methods. LPI invitations insurance coverage suppliers who’re focused on sharing their buyer incentives to contact them at [email protected].