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Lightning Myths Exposed

Jenny Tierney

Myth #1 – Lightning never strikes the same place twice.

Fact – Lightning tends to strike the same places over and over.  It’s hard to say why exactly (because, nature) but scientists believe it has something to do with the soil composition, proximity to nearby bodies of water, and geographic location.

Myth #2 – If you see a lightning strike and count, in seconds, then hear the thunder, then the strike is about the same number of miles away as the number of seconds you counted. (“1…2…3…4…5 MUST mean the strike is 5 miles away, we’re safe!”

Fact – You are NOT safe.  Lightning travels at a speed considerably faster than sound, but thunder is no tortoise struggling to finish the race!  It only seems that way because lightning is, well, lightning fast.  Actually, lightning travels at approximately 90,000 miles per second, and the sound of thunder travels at approximately 2/10 mile per second.  If you see the flash of lightning, and count all the way to 5, lightning is likely only one mile away.  (Each second represents 1/5 of a mile.)

Myth # 3 – Lightning rods attract lightning.

Fact – Lightning rods (and the system they are attached to) provide a safe path to ground for lightning.  Lightning causes damage when it meets resistance.  The purpose of a well-designed lightning protection system is to minimize that resistance and give lightning a quick, low resistance path to ground.

Myth # 4 – Lightning rods ARE the lightning protection system.

Fact – Lightning rods, or air terminals, are one part of a lightning protection system.  A complete Franklin system includes several important elements.  Lightning rods are connected to high conducive, but passive conductor to complete a roof system.  The conductor then continues down the sides of a structure, where it is connected to the grounding system, which ensures the lightning makes it safely to ground without meeting resistance, where it can dissipate without causing damage to the structure.

Winter Quarterly Meeting

For our winter quarterly meeting, our team tried out a new location in South Boston, VA. Not only did we bowl, we also played laser tag, and drove Go-karts. By far, the favorite activity was Go-karts. Everyone had a fun time driving fast and racing each other.

Over burgers and pizza, our company discussed new policy changes and updates on the progress of our vision. Exciting things are ahead!

Commercial Lightning Protection’s New Years Party

Our Christmas party was rescheduled to January due to the snowy weather. Nevertheless, it was fun to get together as an entire team, catch up, and talk about the company’s future. Nick and Jenny presented the new vision for our company in 2018. It includes improved communication between managers and team members, changes to our components, and a plan for expansion. We hope this year will be our best yet!

Commercial Lightning Protection LLC receives WBE and HUB designations.

–Company head Jennifer A. Tierney applauds achievement and recognizes industry support

(October 5, 2015)– Commercial Lightning Protection(CLP), which specializes in the design and installation of lightning protection and grounding systems along the East Coast, recently received certification as a Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) through the National Women Business Owners Corporation. To qualify, a business must be at least 51 percent owned and operated by a woman; a long-term process involving extensive documentation including an on-site visit.

“The WBE designation is particularly important in the diversification of the lightning protection field, and recognizes the relevance and contributions of women as industry leaders, ” said CLP Chief Executive Officer Jennifer A. Tierney.

“Our firm also recognizes and thanks the efforts of our clients to support a women-owned business and their ongoing commitment to foster diversity,” she added, noting that CLP is in good company. A recent survey showed North Carolina is among the top five fastest-growing states in the country regarding the number of women-owned firms.

Under Tierney’s leadership, CLP has streamlined its hiring process, improved employee retention, and increased the percentage of female employees in its firm, which include its Greensboro headquarters and a Richmond, Virginia office.

In addition, CLP received HUB (Historically Underutilized Business) certification in North Carolina, a designation providing business opportunities with the state and recognized by local procurement offices.

About CLP

Commercial Lightning Protection, a UL listed installation company, designs and installs lightning protection and ground systems, with team members certified by UL University, the Lightning Protection Institute, and Construction Safety. CLP installations adhere to UL96a Master Label Standards for lightning protection. For more information, visit