You hear the horror stories of houses being burned in lightning fires all the time, but what are the odds? Do you really need lightning protection?
How to Determine Whether You Need Lightning Protection
Here is a strike density map to give you an idea of how many times lightning strikes in your area. As with most things, green = good, red = bad. You’ll be able to fill in the rest. The legend will also help you. Basically, if you live in the Southeast, it’s a no-brainer – yes, you need lightning protection! Home insurance companies dish out millions per year in this region for lightning damage. BASE Lightning Protection will travel anywhere in the country, but we do most of our work in this area. Areas north of the Southeast like New England also need lightning protection. The only area of the US where lightning doesn’t strike much is west of the Rocky Mountains.
Beyond the strike density map, you also have to look at the valuables you have in your home. Will insurance cover your great grandmother’s wedding ring? Sentimental items don’t retain their value well once they’re destroyed. Commercial buildings should be protected regardless of the region. There are too many people coming in and out of the buildings to play a risk/reward game. Museums should also be protected in order to be 100% sure the collections they show are safe from harm. Not having a lightning protection system is like not having a security system. Most of the people won’t try to steal the collections, right? But some will. So if you have a ton of sentimental items, collectibles, or technology in your house, you’re better off to have lightning protection than not to.
Some HOA’s try to prevent houses from installing lightning protection systems. Check with yours before installing a system, but also remember that this is a safety issue. Depending on your area, an HOA has no authority to stand between you and the safety of your home and your loved ones.