Protecting your homes and businesses against lightning

Lightning rods and surge protectors
Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 6:53 PM CDT
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - Lightning kills more people every year than tornadoes, and one third of all lightning strike injuries happen indoors. That begs the question is your home protected?

Protecting your home or business from a lightning strike might be something you haven’t thought about, but as technology becomes more common and more household products run on electricity. You might want to think again.

Nathan Nesci, a Field Service Technical Support Manager from Harger Lightning Protection, said “Some of the newer homes are becoming smart, so there’s a lot of electronics within the home now. So surge protection is probably a vital key.” Lightning rods protect from direct strikes and surge protectors protect from indirect strikes, meaning strikes that happen off location but will travel through your electrical systems.

Tom Hamilton, Owner of Hamilton Lightning Rods, said “By putting the lightning protection on, what you’re doing is two things. You’re giving it a path to the ground if in fact lightning would strike. By putting the rods on, you’re also neutralizing the building and feeding off the attraction and making it less susceptible to be struck.”

Andy McElroy, a Senior Business Development Manager from Harger Lightning Protection, added “You’re not only protecting the occupants from the electrical hazards, but you’re protecting the equipment as well. A direct strike in the worst case can also cause a fire in the structure, so you’d obviously be protecting people in that realm as well.” As far as how much it can cost?

McElroy said, “Typical house 2000-3000 square foot, it’s probably in the ball park of 10-15 thousand dollars for structural lightning protection and surge protection.” Hamilton said, “A couple thousand square foot home in aluminum can run 2 thousand dollars and up depending on how many rods, how much cable that building will take.”

When you are home during a thunderstorm, stay away from anything conductive like plumbing (Yes, avoid showering), metal doors, and electrical switches. Also, unplug devices like your electronics before storms arrive.

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