Building Safety Month Is Right Time To Assess Lightning's Dangers
(6 days ago)
MARYVILLE, Mo: Lightning poses a threat to life and property, with structural fires regularly caused due to either a direct strike or because lightning's electricity has surged through a structure's wiring, according to the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI).
"To protect the structures they own from lightning-caused damage, business and home owners should seriously consider installing a Lightning Protection System (LPS)," said Bud VanSickle, executive director, LPI. "Lightning Protection Systems safely ground lightning's dangerous electricity without impact to the structure, its occupants or contents when installed properly."
The LPI is highlighting the importance of Lightning Protection Systems as the International Code Council (ICC) marks the second week (May 6-12, 2018) of its annual Building Safety Month with a focus on "Advancing Resilient Communities Through Science and Technology."
To coincide with the ICC's Building Safety Month, the LPI released this week an infographic on the importance of 'Building Lightning Safe Communities to Weather the Storm.'
"Resilience starts with strong, regularly updated, and properly implemented building codes. So, whether you're considering renovating, remodeling, or building from the ground up, look for the latest technology and make sure it is based on the codes and standards that put safety and efficiency first," states the ICC's website, in a section on how Science & Technology are leading the way when it comes to building safety.
Given the growing interest in LPS and the beneficial role these systems play in building safety, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) updates its Safety Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems (NFPA 780) every three years.
"Homeowners insurers nationwide paid out $826 million to help more than 100,000 policyholders recover economically from lightning-caused property damage in 2016," said Michael Barry, Head of Media and Public Affairs at the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.). "Policyholders who are debating whether to install a Lightning Protection System should ask their insurer if they offer discounts for LPS-equipped structures."
Florida—the state with the most thunderstorms—remained the top state for lightning claims in 2016, with 10,385, followed by Texas (9,098), and Georgia (8,037), according to the I.I.I.