The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) updated their code within the past couple of months. They update their code every three years which gives us the NFPA 780 2017 Edition hot off the press. There have been a few significant changes for commercial lightning protection systems. One that is particularly exciting includes a lightning protection system that can be a stand alone with only one downlead within certain parameters. There can only be one air terminal needing to be grounded and it can’t be over a certain length. This is particularly beneficial in situations where poles (i.e. a flagpole that can’t carry a charge on its own) need to be protected because two cables running down gets bulky and excessive.
photo by Allstate Insurance
A friend of an employee here at BASE Lightning Protection posted a picture on Instagram a few days ago of a new skylight in her media room. The problem is the “skylight” wasn’t a skylight at all. She had her roof get struck by lightning and the whole thing burned and fell in. The insurance company said it will be 6-8 months before the damage is repaired. They will end up rebuilding an entire house in that time. This is in Canton, Georgia, just north of Atlanta. The sad part is that this girl has been friends with one of our installers for over a year. With a properly installed lightning protection system this could have been prevented. This isn’t an uncommon phenomenon, and it can happen to you. Thankfully no one was hurt in this accident.
Homeowners insurance does cover lightning damage. They cannot, however, recover or reproduce family heirlooms or unreplaceable assets. Family photos, stuffed animals, the trim on the door frame with little tick marks of how tall she grew since she was born. Those things are all gone. No amount of insurance can bring those types of things back, which is why it is so important to protect them in the first place.
What homeowners insurance can do is pay to have a lightning protection system installed on your house or give you a discounted rate if you have a system installed on your house. This could save you quite a bit of money in the long term and give you peace of mind during even the most dangerous thunderstorms.