IBHS Urges Home and Business Owners to Protect Their Property from Lightning Strikes

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A lightning strike to an unprotected structure can cause catastrophic damage

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A properly installed lightning protection system is a great investment in making sure your business, home and family will be protected should lightning strike.

In conjunction with Lightning Safety Awareness Week, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is providing advice on how to reduce risks from lighting.

Lightning strikes are one of the major sources of external power surges that can severely damage electronic equipment and cause fires –both of which can be dangerous and are a huge disruption to a family or business.

“A lightning strike to an unprotected structure can cause catastrophic damage,” said Julie Rochman, CEO & president of IBHS. “Fortunately, there are relatively simple, inexpensive steps that can be taken to substantially reduce the chances of lightning-related damage and disruptions.”

For lightning protection, a whole-house/building surge protector is the best starting point for reducing the risk of damage. A number of utility companies have programs to provide and install whole-building surge protection systems. If this is not available in your area, consult a licensed electrician.

In addition to whole-building surge protection, IBHS strongly recommends the following:

  •     Install additional protection for important or expensive electronic equipment. This should include localized surge protection for power cords to the equipment and any telephone and cable/satellite TV lines connecting to the equipment. These devices are available at most home improvement and electronics stores.
  •     Have a licensed electrician or competent home/building inspector review the power, telephone, electrical and cable/satellite TV connections to your building. Have them check to make sure that you have adequate grounding of the power line connection and your power distribution panel. All of the utilities should enter the structure within 10 feet of the electrical service entrance ground wire and be bonded to that grounding point.

“Property losses related to lightning exceed $1 billion annually, according to insurance industry data,” Rochman said. “A properly installed lightning protection system is a great investment in making sure your business, home and family will be protected should lightning strike.”

For more information on how to reduce the risk of lightning damaging your home or business, visit DisasterSafety.org.

To arrange an interview with IBHS contact Joseph King at 813-675-1045/813-442-2845, jking@ibhs.org or via direct message on Twitter @jsalking

About IBHS
IBHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific and educational organization supported by the property insurance industry. The organization works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks to residential and commercial property by conducting research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparation practices.

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