Construction and Building, Free News Articles, General Editorial, Home and Garden, NonProfit and Charities, Real Estate

Taking it Down to Earth: Debunking Myths about Lightning Protection

CUMBERLAND, Maine -- Old and new myths about lightning protection continue to circulate through the internet and unsafe lightning protection products still manage to find their way into construction job specifications in many parts of the U.S. To help safeguard properties from a leading weather threat, the National Lightning Safety Council (NLSC) is stressing the importance of separating fact from fallacy about lightning protection systems (LPS).

"Despite the wealth of accurate information on lightning, lightning safety and lightning protection, there are still many myths and misunderstandings that persist," said John Jensenius, a lightning safety specialist with the NLSC.

Just in time for Lightning Safety Awareness Week, the NLSC debunks five common myths about lightning protection:

1 - Lightning rods attract lightning

Unfortunately, this is a common misconception about lightning protection. Lightning protection systems and strike termination devices (industry name for lightning rods which are part of the system) work in conjunction with a grounding network to intercept a lightning strike and provide a safe and effective path that dissipates lightning's harmful electricity into the earth.

2 - Tall trees protect a structure against lightning

False. Lightning can side-flash from a tree and hit a nearby structure. Additionally, when lightning strikes and travels underground along tree roots, it can enter a structure by jumping onto nearby telephone, cable and electrical lines, introducing harmful surges. Lightning can also injure a tree from a direct strike, causing limbs to split and fall onto a nearby structure.

3 - Homes and building are already grounded and don't need lightning protection

The electrical ground installed by an electrician is there to protect the internal workings of the electrical system in a building to accommodate everyday electricity usage-it's not designed to handle the mega electricity (100 million + volts of power or 200 kA of electrical energy!) that a lightning strike can pack.

4 - A lightning rod is easy to install

Lightning protection is a complex system (not just a "rod") of UL-listed materials and methods which comply with nationally-recognized safety standards of the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL). LPS is not a do-it-yourself project. Only trained experts like LPI-certified lightning protection contractors should install lightning protection systems, since design and installation is rarely within the scope of expertise held by homeowners, general contractors or roofers.

5 - Surge protection and "whole house" arresters protect structures from lightning

False. Surge protection is only one element of a complete lightning protection system. A grounding network for lightning (lightning protection system) must be implemented to provide structural protection. A LPS that meets national safety standards includes strike termination devices, down conductors, bonding, grounding and UL-rated surge protection devices.

"Lightning just wants to get to ground and a safety standard compliant lightning protection system helps it get there without harmful impact to the structure, contents or building systems," said Kimberly Loehr, a lightning protection specialist and member of the NLSC. "The concept is simple, but the safety standards are complex and detail principles including zone of protection, common bonding of grounded systems, potential equalization of ground impedance, lightning risk assessment and much more," explained Loehr.

People looking to learn more about lightning safety, risk reduction and the annual Lightning Safety Awareness Week campaign, June 19-25, 2022, can visit http://www.lightningsafetycouncil.org/.

MULTIMEDIA:

PHOTO link for media: https://www.Send2Press.com/300dpi/22-0617-s2p-lps-grounding-300dpi.jpg

Photo Caption: A safety standard compliant lightning protection system (LPS) functions as a grounding network to intercept a lightning strike and provide an effective path for dissipating lightning's destructive electricity into the earth without harmful impact to a structure, its contents or building systems.

RELATED LINKS:

http://www.lightningsafetycouncil.org/LSC-LSAW.html

https://lightning.org/about/find-a-contractor/

Related link: http://lightningsafetycouncil.org/

This news story was published by the Neotrope® News Network - all rights reserved. ID:NEO2022

Construction and Building, Free News Articles, General Editorial, Home and Garden, NonProfit and Charities, Real Estate

Taking it Down to Earth: Debunking Myths about Lightning Protection

CUMBERLAND, Maine -- Old and new myths about lightning protection continue to circulate through the internet and unsafe lightning protection products still manage to find their way into construction job specifications in many parts of the U.S. To help safeguard properties from a leading weather threat, the National Lightning Safety Council (NLSC) is stressing the importance of separating fact from fallacy about lightning protection systems (LPS).

"Despite the wealth of accurate information on lightning, lightning safety and lightning protection, there are still many myths and misunderstandings that persist," said John Jensenius, a lightning safety specialist with the NLSC.

Just in time for Lightning Safety Awareness Week, the NLSC debunks five common myths about lightning protection:

1 - Lightning rods attract lightning

Unfortunately, this is a common misconception about lightning protection. Lightning protection systems and strike termination devices (industry name for lightning rods which are part of the system) work in conjunction with a grounding network to intercept a lightning strike and provide a safe and effective path that dissipates lightning's harmful electricity into the earth.

2 - Tall trees protect a structure against lightning

False. Lightning can side-flash from a tree and hit a nearby structure. Additionally, when lightning strikes and travels underground along tree roots, it can enter a structure by jumping onto nearby telephone, cable and electrical lines, introducing harmful surges. Lightning can also injure a tree from a direct strike, causing limbs to split and fall onto a nearby structure.

3 - Homes and building are already grounded and don't need lightning protection

The electrical ground installed by an electrician is there to protect the internal workings of the electrical system in a building to accommodate everyday electricity usage-it's not designed to handle the mega electricity (100 million + volts of power or 200 kA of electrical energy!) that a lightning strike can pack.

4 - A lightning rod is easy to install

Lightning protection is a complex system (not just a "rod") of UL-listed materials and methods which comply with nationally-recognized safety standards of the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL). LPS is not a do-it-yourself project. Only trained experts like LPI-certified lightning protection contractors should install lightning protection systems, since design and installation is rarely within the scope of expertise held by homeowners, general contractors or roofers.

5 - Surge protection and "whole house" arresters protect structures from lightning

False. Surge protection is only one element of a complete lightning protection system. A grounding network for lightning (lightning protection system) must be implemented to provide structural protection. A LPS that meets national safety standards includes strike termination devices, down conductors, bonding, grounding and UL-rated surge protection devices.

"Lightning just wants to get to ground and a safety standard compliant lightning protection system helps it get there without harmful impact to the structure, contents or building systems," said Kimberly Loehr, a lightning protection specialist and member of the NLSC. "The concept is simple, but the safety standards are complex and detail principles including zone of protection, common bonding of grounded systems, potential equalization of ground impedance, lightning risk assessment and much more," explained Loehr.

People looking to learn more about lightning safety, risk reduction and the annual Lightning Safety Awareness Week campaign, June 19-25, 2022, can visit http://www.lightningsafetycouncil.org/.

MULTIMEDIA:

PHOTO link for media: https://www.Send2Press.com/300dpi/22-0617-s2p-lps-grounding-300dpi.jpg

Photo Caption: A safety standard compliant lightning protection system (LPS) functions as a grounding network to intercept a lightning strike and provide an effective path for dissipating lightning's destructive electricity into the earth without harmful impact to a structure, its contents or building systems.

RELATED LINKS:

http://www.lightningsafetycouncil.org/LSC-LSAW.html

https://lightning.org/about/find-a-contractor/

Related link: http://lightningsafetycouncil.org/

This news story was published by the Neotrope® News Network - all rights reserved. ID:NEO2022

Alliances and Partnerships, Business, Construction and Building, Free News Articles, NonProfit and Charities

ACLENet and Government of Uganda Sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to Further ‘Building Lightning Safe Communities’ Effort

CHICAGO, Ill. -- An important milestone for promoting lightning safety across Africa occurred with the February 2022 signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the US and Uganda-based African Centers for Lightning and Electromagnetics Network (ACLENet) and the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) of Uganda. This MoU was piloted and promoted by the Ministry of Relief, Disaster Preparedness, and Refugees (MoRDP'R) within the Prime Minister's Office.

"My Ministry is working with ACLENet on the scientific aspects of disaster preparedness," said Hilary Onek, the Hon Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees. "It is the hope of parties involved in this partnership to make this optimism a reality," Onek explained during a Public Service Announcement (PSA), an integral part of engagements leading to the signing of the MoU that was broadcast during the 2021 holiday season in both English and Luganda, the primary indigenous language in Uganda.

The MoU is an important milestone for ACLENet, as it is expected to provide instrumental framework for: 1) A national mandate to plan, promote, and advocate for lightning safety across Uganda; 2) Introduction of scientific principles of lightning safety for people, property, and places according to globally recognized lightning protection system (LPS) safety standard provisions of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

"This partnership is expected to further ACLENet's goals of saving lives and property across Africa," said Dr. Mary Ann Cooper, Managing Director of ACLENet.

Data sets and information packages are being prepared for the Hon. Minister for onward submission to appropriate units within the Government of Uganda and general public and include priorities outlined in The United Nation's Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 as well as a database on lightning injuries.

"Specifically, ACLENet plans to expand the work piloted with programs and interventions over the last seven years and in partnership with the National Emergency Coordination and Operations Centre (NECOC), a specialized department of MoRDP'R," explained Dr. Cooper. "Together, we aim to advance the 'building lightning safe communities' effort by reducing the number of deaths, injuries, and property damage from lightning."

Here in the U.S., the International Code Council (I.C.C.) is celebrating its 42nd annual Building Safety Month campaign with the theme "Safety for All: Building Codes in Action," to raise awareness about the importance of building codes in ensuring safety in spaces in which we live work and learn.

"Building Safety Month focuses on issues that impact our everyday lives: building safety, energy, water and disasters-factors of constant concern for homes, schools, businesses and communities," said Code Council Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO.

Learn more: https://aclenet.org/how-to-help/overview.html

About ACLENet:

ACLENet, a nonprofit organization incorporated in both the US and Uganda, seeks funding and volunteers to help reduce injuries, save lives, and decrease crippling infrastructure damage from lightning in Africa. Visit https://aclenet.org/ to learn how you can support the effort.

ACLENet uses lightning protection, public, primary, and secondary education, and research to interface with African governments and protect communities from the lightning threat.

RELATED LINKS:

https://opm.go.ug/disaster-preparedness-and-management/

https://www.iec.ch/homepage

https://aclenet.org/news-publications/country-news/

MULTIMEDIA:

VIDEO (YouTube): https://youtu.be/aj4iifLdI7E

Related link: https://aclenet.org/

This news story was published by the Neotrope® News Network - all rights reserved.

Free News Articles, General Editorial, NonProfit and Charities

Super Bowl Commercial Highlights Lightning’s Danger and Lasting Impact on Survivors

CUMBERLAND, Maine -- A commercial expected to air during Sunday's Super Bowl has caught the attention of the National Lightning Safety Council (NLSC). The ad will feature a lightning strike survivor's apparent phobia of electricity which developed after being injured while riding a motorcycle. While the humorous commercial was created for other purposes, it also provides an opportunity for the NLSC to dispel a common lightning myth and to highlight the potential long-term health effects for lightning strike survivors.

According to news reports, Seth Thomas (the victim depicted in the Super Bowl ad) and his father were injured by lightning while on a motorcycle trip in 2012.

"Many people still believe the myth that rubber tires protect you from lightning, but they do not," said John Jensenius, a lightning safety specialist with the NLSC. "It's very dangerous to be riding a motorcycle or to be involved in any other outdoor activity during a thunderstorm."

Data collected by the NLSC, cites 12 people in the U.S. as being struck and killed by lightning while motorcycling from 2006 to 2021.

According to Mary Ann Cooper, MD, international lightning safety expert and medical specialist with the NLSC, long term health effects are common with lightning-strike survivors.

"Many survivors suffer brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic pain syndromes from the nerve injuries that lightning commonly causes," said Dr. Cooper. "The fear of electricity that this Super Bowl advertisement humorously portrays is not uncommon with lightning and electrical injury survivors," she explained.

The NLSC hopes the Super Bowl prime airing of the commercial will prompt conversations and spark awareness about the dangers of lightning to prevent more deaths and injuries.

"Not all lightning survivors will find this commercial funny, but sometimes humor gets the word out to certain audiences better than serious warnings," added Dr. Cooper.

The NLSC urges lightning strike survivors and families coping with the often misunderstood medical effects of these injuries to contact the Lightning Strike & Electric Shock Survivors International, a non-profit support group founded in 1989.

The National Lightning Safety Council invites educators, government officials and others to help build lightning safe communities by learning more about lightning safety, lightning protection and risk reduction.

Visit the http://www.lightningsafetycouncil.org/ for shareable information, resources and safety tips.

Inquiries about specific lightning concerns can also be addressed to Council members via contacts here: http://www.lightningsafetycouncil.com/LSC-About.html.

RELATED LINKS:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzcdP90akWM

http://lightningsafetycouncil.org/Activities/Motorcycles.pdf

https://www.lightning-strike.org/

Related link: http://lightningsafetycouncil.org/

This news story was published by the Neotrope® News Network - all rights reserved.

Business, Free News Articles, General Editorial

U.S. Sees Record Low Number of Lightning Deaths in 2021 – Lightning Safety Awareness Effort Reaches Milestone

CUMBERLAND, Maine -- According to the National Lightning Safety Council, the lightning death toll of 11 in 2021 set a new record for the fewest documented U.S. lightning deaths in a year. The previous low recorded by NOAA was 16 deaths in 2017.

"This new low of 11 lightning deaths is dramatically fewer than the 432 Americans killed by lightning in 1943," said John Jensenius, a lightning safety specialist with the National Lightning Safety Council (NLSC).

During 2021, leisure activities contributed to eight of the 11 lightning fatalities with work-related activities causing the remaining three. Five of the fatalities were on beaches with three on golf courses. Listings of lightning fatalities since 2006 can be found on the National Lightning Safety Council website (http://lightningsafetycouncil.org/LSC-LightningFatalities.html).

"With more than 194 million lightning events detected across the United States and 2.4 billion detected around the world in 2021, lightning safety should be a consideration during any outdoor activity," said Chris Vagasky, a lightning data specialist with the National Lightning Safety Council.

Jensenius attributes the recent drop in lightning fatalities to increased awareness efforts, including lightning safety campaigns, and the growing accessibility of weather information.

"When the Lightning Safety Awareness Campaign began in 2001, the U.S. averaged 47 lightning fatalities a year," Jensenius explained. "The average number of deaths for the past five years has now dropped to 17. It's very rewarding to know that the campaign has been so successful."

The record low in lightning deaths is an important milestone in the lightning safety awareness effort in light of a significant increase in U.S. and global lightning activity, as documented by Vaisala in its 2021 Annual Lightning Report. Amidst a constantly changing lightning landscape, the NLSC emphasizes the importance of continued vigilance against the capricious weather threat.

"Continued efforts to increase lightning safety awareness will help keep people safe in the United States and globally," said Vagasky.

The National Lightning Safety Council invites educators, government officials and others to help build lightning safe communities by learning more about lightning safety, lightning protection and risk reduction.

Visit the http://www.lightningsafetycouncil.org/ for shareable information, resources and safety tips.

Inquiries about specific lightning concerns can also be addressed to Council members via contacts here: http://www.lightningsafetycouncil.com/LSC-About.html.

RELATED LINKS:

http://lightningsafetycouncil.org/LSC-LightningFatalities.html

https://www.vaisala.com/en/annual-lightning-report

Related link: http://lightningsafetycouncil.org/

This news story was published by the Neotrope® News Network - all rights reserved.

Free News Articles, General Editorial, Home and Garden, Sports and Activities

Lightning, Tragedy and Lessons Learned about Safety and Awareness: A Look Back at One of Lightning’s Deadliest Strikes

CUMBERLAND, Maine -- This Sunday marks the 70th anniversary of one of the deadliest lightning strikes in the U.S. and the National Lightning Safety Council is recalling the tragic event to spotlight the dangers of lightning, a common, yet underrated weather peril.

Lives were shattered in an instant on August 1, 1951 when lightning struck a tree at Wind Cave, Wyoming, killing four girl hikers and their leader and injuring nine others. The hikers were on a trek from a girls' camp in Darby Canyon to Wind Cave, Ice Cave, and back.

"Fortunately, most people are more aware of lightning's dangers now than they were in 1951," said John Jensenius, a lightning safety specialist with the National Lightning Safety Council (NLSC).

According to Jensenius, the Center for Disease Control logged 248 U.S. lightning deaths in 1951, which is one more than the combined total of 247 deaths the NLSC has documented for the past 10 years.

Karma Lambert, one of the most seriously injured survivors, vividly remembers events up until the time when lightning struck the tall tree that she and several others were sitting under. Lambert, now 84, attributes her survival to the quick actions of hiking guide, Fred Miller, and several older girls who repeatedly administered "artificial respiration."

Lambert's detailed account of the incident and her 2015 return to the site is featured on her daughter's website: https://watercolor365.com/my-mother-a-lightning-survivor-honors-victims/.

Now, 70 years after the event, Kelly Loosli, a professor of Animation and Film at Brigham Young University is interviewing survivors of the Wind Cave lightning incident for a documentary he's preparing. Loosli is the grandson of the then Teton County Sheriff Dwight Loosli, who organized men and horses to rescue the injured and transport the dead in the ensuing hours after the lightning strike.

"My interest stems from my grandfather's involvement in the rescue and the heroism of all those involved," said Loosli. "This was a terrible tragedy and I don't want to see anything like this ever happen again."

Lambert has advice for anyone headed out on a hike, "Check the forecast and if thunderstorms are predicted, just don't go."

Jensenius wants people to know what happened that tragic day in 1951 to stress the importance of monitoring weather conditions to limit the lightning threat.

"Consider canceling or postponing activities if thunderstorms are predicted and remember, when thunder roars, go indoors," advises Jensenius. "Lightning safety is a minor inconvenience that just might save your life."

The National Lightning Safety Council invites educators, government officials and others to help build lightning safe communities by learning more about lightning safety, lightning protection and risk reduction.

Visit the http://www.lightningsafetycouncil.org/ for shareable information, resources and safety tips. Inquiries about specific lightning concerns can also be addressed to Council members via contacts here: http://www.lightningsafetycouncil.com/LSC-About.html

MEDIA CONTACT:

Kimberly Loehr - Kimberly Loehr Consulting, kim@loehrlightning.com

RELATED LINKS:

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/vsus/VSUS_1951_2.pdf

https://designdept.byu.edu/directory/kelly-loosli

#lightning #lightningsafety #lightningsafecommunities @lightningkim

Related link: http://lightningsafetycouncil.org/

This news story was published by the Neotrope® News Network - all rights reserved.