chapter  17
4 Pages

Lightning Protection

For businesses nationwide, a total prevention of damage from lightning strikes would save millions of dollars each year in facility and content damage, and would also serve to safeguard critical company processes. Lightning strikes are random, and well-known for their highly destructive nature. Some areas of the United States are more prone to this type of natural disaster than others. In Chicago, for instance, statistics show an occurrence of about 40 thunderstorms per year. Although thunderstorms appear less frequently (about 10 per year) in California, the likelihood is that Florida can expect anywhere from 75 to 100 thunderstorms annually. The necessity for lightning protection, however, is in direct proportion to the severity of the thunderstorms. The hazard is greater in open areas as opposed to cities with a high density of buildings, where it should be recognized that taller structures are most at risk. The threat of lightning exposure is also high for buildings with a large footprint. The danger posed by lightning peaks in the summer months, typically occurring in the late afternoon or early evening. Lightning is least likely to occur in the winter season. From 1997 through 2006, lightning deaths were most prevalent in the following U.S. states (in order): Florida, Colorado, Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina.