Resource:Lightning Protection Guide

Each year, Glatfelter Public Entities clients experience loss and disruptions in service from lightning strikes.
Equipment that might be impacted includes:

  • Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.
  • Telemetry units.
  • Police communication systems.
  • EMS call centers.
  • Submersible and above ground pumps.
  • Main electrical control equipment.
  • Other critical building systems.

Additionally, the heat generated from a lightning strike can create building fires and can be a significant exposure to humans who are outdoors at the time of the storm.

Equipment damaged by a lightning strike or surge may take time to replace, which can delay the restoration of
public services. The net result can be millions of dollars of damage to property and serious interruption of public safety, water and sewer services.

Lightning storms can develop quickly, leaving public entities with limited time to react. Although there may not be a fool-proof method of protecting structures and equipment from damage, there are steps that can be taken to reduce lightning exposure. It is important that facility and equipment design incorporates lightning and surge protection to reduce the potential exposure to loss and provide the best chance of limiting the impact of lightning occurrence.

This communiqué provides an overview of the lightning exposure, loss planning, lightning protection systems and components and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) pamphlet NFPA 780 – “Standard for the
Installation of Lightning Protection Systems.”

Risk of Lightning Strikes
Historically, there are regions throughout the United States that have a higher frequency of lightning storms and associated damage. The lightning occurrence map on the accompanying pdf identifies the areas of the United States most subject to lightning storms. The highest frequency of lightning strikes extends from Florida to Texas and up north through Nebraska to Ohio and as far east as Virginia. Still, lightning activity can affect every state to some degree.

Download the pdf document for more information.