A direct lightning strike can cause severe damage to a building’s structure, and its internal electronic systems, putting lives at risk. From high-rise offices to hospitals, shopping centres to stadiums, a compliant lightning protection system, installed by a competent Specialist Contractor, such as those in ATLAS membership, will be essential to minimising the damage that can occur.
When Lightning Strikes
Lightning protection systems are designed to intercept, conduct and disperse a lightning strike safely to earth. They should be designed, installed and tested in accordance with BS EN 62305, the recognised British Standard, and ATLAS is represented on the BSI committee responsible for the development of the standard.
To ensure that adequate lightning protection is installed on a building, the design risk level for the structure should be calculated in accordance with BS EN 62305-2:2012 Protection Against Lightning – Risk Management, the recognised British Standard for the design, installation and testing of lightning protection systems.
ATLAS has produced this Simplified Risk Assessment Table providing an essential reference guide for clients who may have little or no information available on the structure and will be faced with varying proposals and quotations. The table is designed to help them select the correct level of lightning protection for their project which is compliant with BS EN 62305 rather than simply the lowest price.
Specialist Contractors for a Specialist Trade
By using an ATLAS member with a qualified, trained and experienced workforce, clients can have the confidence that it will:
- Deliver a full design, installation and maintenance package
- Undertake risk assessments in accordance with the relevant British Standard, BS EN 62305, to identify the exact level of protection required
- Carry out soil resistivity testing and extrapolate the information to provide possible solutions in areas of poor ground quality
- Ensure conductors are routed, with joints and right angles kept to a minimum
- Identify surge protection requirements and solutions
- Provide on-going technical advice and support.
The myth that ‘lightning never strikes twice’ will not provide a building with the protection that it needs. The consequences of inadequate lightning protection can be serious and only qualified Specialist Contractors such as those in ATLAS membership have the knowledge and skills to test and inspect the system properly and prepare an accurate report identifying any non-compliance issues.
A number of ATLAS members are also specially trained in electrical earthing systems, which capture and disperse electrical current to ensure a site remains safe at all times. They are designed for applications operating at relatively low frequencies, such as sub-stations, transformers, generators and MRI equipment, and sophisticated technology is used to determine ground resistivity before the appropriate electrical earthing system is installed, tested and inspected in line with industry standards including BS 7430:2011+A1:2015 Code of Practice for Protective Earthing of Electrical Installations.
ATLAS members are committed to providing clients with the most appropriate and cost effective lightning protection solution whatever the project and should be the first port of call for all lightning protection needs.