Lightning Protection Service

Lightning Protection Testing and Certification

What is the need for Lightning Protection Testing and Certification?

Lightning strikes hit the ground approximately 300,000 times each year. The lightning protection system is there to intercept, conduct and disperse a lightning strike safely to earth. Without a lightning protection system, a building’s structure, electronic systems, and the living beings working around or within it are all at high risk. There are many ways in which lightning strikes can cause damage or injury. Lightning strikes (or even electrical discharges due to nearby lightning) can cause fires, explosions, chemical releases or mechanical disruption within or around a building. This could lead to injuries, physical damage, or even loss of life.

What is lightning testing & certification?

Lightning testing & certification involves conducting a series of tests in accordance with the relevant industry standards to evaluate the effectiveness, safety risk, and compliance of lightning protection systems. This type of system is designed to protect buildings, structures, and electrical equipment from damage caused by lightning strikes.

How do you test for lightning protection?

There are several different methods for lightning protection testing, but the most common is a direct strike test. This involves using a high-voltage generator to simulate a lightning strike on the system. Other tests may include measuring and testing the resistance of grounding systems or examining surge protection devices.

How often should a lightning conductor system be tested & certified in the UK?

According to the British Standard BS EN 62305, lightning protection systems should be inspected and tested at least every 12 months or after any significant alteration or repair. This ensures that the whole lightning rod system remains compliant with safety regulations.

What is the BS EN 62305 test?

The BS EN 62305 test is a set of standards established by the British Standard Institution for lightning protection systems. This includes guidelines for the design, installation, inspection, and recertification of these systems to ensure they meet safety requirements.

What is the best protection against lightning?

The best protection against lightning is a properly installed and maintained lightning protection system. This includes conductors, grounding systems, surge protection devices, and bonding connections to ensure the safe dissipation of electricity from a lightning strike’s energy.

Are lightning protection systems worth it?

Yes, investing in and building a lightning protection system is worth it, considering the potential damage and safety risks associated with lightning strikes. Not only does it protect buildings and structures, but it also protects electrical equipment from costly repairs or replacements.

Is lightning protection testing & certification a legal requirement in the UK?

Yes, it is a legal requirement in the UK for certain buildings and structures to have a lightning protection system installed. This includes high-rise buildings, hospitals, schools, and other public facilities. Failure to comply with safety regulations can result in fines or legal consequences.

 

Lightning Protection Requirements according to British Standard (BS EN 62305)

Section 5 of the Electricity at Work Act 1989 states that all lightning conductors should be visually inspected and tested at regular fixed intervals, preferably not exceeding 12 months.

The inspection ensures that the lightning protection measures are up to the relevant British standard (BS EN 62305), which will then reduce the risk of damage to a structure and the systems and people within the building in accordance with British standards.

The purpose of the lighting systems is to carry the current safely to earth and ensure the continued functioning of equipment, the safety of the building or structure, and the safety of the people inside. A system which is not properly maintained might not be effective in carrying the current to the ground.

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In Britain, lightning strikes occur more frequently than you might expect. Lighting protection systems are essential to prevent excess electric energy from damaging your building by taking a less destructive path to the ground. As a result, the water does not flow through the electrical wiring and piping of the building, which could cause significant damage. Testing lightning conductors and grounding installations is a process of visually inspecting and testing lightning conductors and grounding installations.

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Are Lightning Conductor Inspections and Retestings necessary?

Yes, lightning protection testing is essential. The lightning conductor retesting inspections include an overall visual to ensure the system is in good working condition and the taking of all earth readings which are accessible. This included the main points below:-

  • Resistance to earth readings for each earth termination
  • Equi-potential bonds
  • Corrosion of earth electrodes
  • Conditions of connections
  • Deterioration and corrosion of air-termination elements, conductors and connections
  • Conductor fixings

Highwire Ltd’s engineers are fully competent in work regulations, undertaking installation, detailed inspection and testing of all lightning protection systems. Our lightning protection engineers hold gold cards and provide excellent service whilst on site.

Disclaimer

Upon satisfactory inspection and testing, all equipment will be certified accordingly, and any reports will be issued at no extra cost. Many of our competitors charge an additional fee for the certification.

A full photographic report will be issued when a system fails to enable our customer to see the work required. We will then have the works carried out at your earliest convenience so that you are compliant with the regulations.

We always inspect and recertify every single accessible earthing position on site, whereas a lot of our competitors will test and inspect only 1 in 3 or 4 positions and give you an overall reading. This is less time-consuming for the sub-contractor but is not an efficient reading for the client.

FAQ

What is the need for Lightning Protection Testing and Certification? 

Lightning strikes the ground approximately 300,000 times each year. An effective lightning protection system is there to intercept, conduct, and disperse a lightning strike safely to earth, protecting the building’s structure, electrical and electronic systems, and the people within. Without such a system, lightning strikes (or even electrical discharges due to nearby lightning) can cause fires, explosions, chemical releases, or mechanical disruptions. This could lead to injuries, physical damage, or even loss of life.

Understanding Lightning Testing & Certification

Lightning testing & certification involves conducting a series of tests in line with the relevant industry standards to evaluate the effectiveness, safety risk, and compliance of lightning protection systems. This process ensures buildings, structures, and electrical and electronic systems are safeguarded against damage caused by lightning strikes and lightning electromagnetic impulse.

 How Lightning Protection is Tested

Lightning conductor testing employs various methods, with a direct strike test being prevalent. It uses a high-voltage generator to mimic a lightning strike, alongside measuring earth grounding installations and earthing system resistance, and examining surge protection devices.

How often should a lightning conductor system be tested & certified in the UK?

According to British Standard BS EN 62305, lightning protection services should ensure systems are inspected and tested at least every 12 months. This regulation guarantees that lightning conductors and the whole system remain compliant with safety standards.

What is the BS EN 62305 test?

The BS EN 62305 test is a set of standards established by the British Standard Institution for lightning protection systems. This includes guidelines for the design, installation, inspection, and recertification of these systems to ensure they meet safety requirements.

What is the best protection against lightning? 

The best protection against lightning is a properly installed and maintained lightning protection system. This includes conductors, grounding systems, surge protection devices, and bonding connections to ensure the safe dissipation of electricity from a lightning strike’s energy.

Are lightning protection systems worth it?

Yes, investing in lightning protection services with qualified electrical engineers offers complete peace of mind, considering the damage and safety risks lightning strikes and lightning flashes pose.

Is lightning protection testing & certification a legal requirement in the UK?

It is a legal requirement for certain buildings to have a lightning protection system installed, ensuring electronic equipment and structures are protected. Failure to comply can result in fines or legal consequences.

 

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