Lightning Myths Exposed

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.

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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!

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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!

WFMY News 2 Asks: Do Lightning Rods Prevent Lightning Strikes?

Nick was recently asked to explain in simple terms how a lightning protection system works when a local gentleman asked WFMY News 2 if lightning rods “deter” lightning.

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Homeless Drive/Outreach

The whole team joined in an effort to assemble care packages for the homeless. We are humbled to be able to do something together as a team that will help others. We believe in encouraging growth and exploration in every team member and give them opportunities to make significant contributions to our community.

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Company Carowinds Trip

The CLP team took on Greensboro’s Skywild, a rooftop adventure ropes course. It was a great team building experience, as the office team got to experience a little taste of the heights our field team deals with on a regular basis! We could all agree, these courses were a lot more fun than being out in the field, but in some ways they just as challenging. The best part was when one person completed a portion of a course, he or she would “coach” the other people and cheer them on as they made their way through it. Definitely worth a try if you’re ever in the Greensboro area and looking for something fun to do!

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NCAEC Conference

We recently enjoyed a trip to the Annual NCAEC convention and trade show in South Carolina. The NCAEC is an organization that has been around since 1937 to be a voice for the electrical contractors of North Carolina. We had the opportunity to meet with current and prospective clients, and participated in their silent auction by donating items.

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Do Commercial Lightning Protection Systems attract lightning to the structure?

Our commercial lighting protection systems don’t increase the chance that your structure will be hit by lighting. It will however decrease the damage and injury of lightning strikes that may happen.

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What codes & standards exist for a lightning protection system and its installation?

There are various codes and standards for the installation of a lightning protection system, but the three primary and most widely used/accepted standards are National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 780, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 96A, and Lightning Protection Institute (L.P.I.) 175.

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