How Pre-engineered Metal Buildings Resist Lightning Damage

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April 10, 2013

There are 1,800 Thunderstorms in Progress at this Moment

Lightning dances across the sky in jagged bolts.  Both beautiful and deadly, lightning flashes out with awesome power, potentially causing massive property damage, debilitating injuries, and even death for those without building lightning protection.  The prudent take building lightning protection seriously by constructing steel buildings. When grounding metal buildings is done properly, lightning passes harmlessly into the ground.

In a propoerly grounded steel building, lightning passes harmlessly into the ground.Well-Grounded Metal Buildings Are Safer from Lightning

Did you know lightning causes more damage each year than hurricanes and tornadoes combined?  Lightning is the second greatest cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S.

When lightning hits a nearby object, side flashes shock anything or anyone in the area.  Lighting can kill up to 130 feet away from the initially strikes.

According to the Lightning Protection Institute, a properly grounded steel structure is highly unlikely to suffer lightning damage, while a wood-framed house with a wood roof is at greatest risk and when it lacks building lightning protection.

Why is grounding metal buildings necessary?

One flash of lightning can be up to five times hotter than the surface of the sun.  Anything containing moisture like wood or concrete can explode when struck by lightning.

Steel conducts electricity much better than wood. The grounding in metal buildings lets lightning pass harmlessly into the ground. A poor electrical conductor, wood offers so much resistance to lightning that electricity often flashes out to harm nearby objects or people.  (That is why it is so dangerous to stand beneath a tree during a storm.)

Wood is also vulnerable to fire.  Lightning easily ignites a fire in wood framing— and the wood continues contributing fuel to the fire after it starts.

Frightening Lightning Statistics:

  • There are 25 million lightning flashes a year in the U.S.
  • 16 million storms occur worldwide each year.
  • There are 1,800 thunderstorms in progress on Earth at any given time.
  • The rapid expansion of the heated air is what causes the sound of thunder.
  • The sound of lightning travels about a mile every five seconds.
  • Each flash of lightning is a potential killer: 55-100 people are killed annually in the U.S
  • It is usually the second greatest cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S.
  • 90% of those struck by lightning survive— many with severe injuries causing long-term health problems and disabilities.
  • Each lightning bolt contains as much as 100 million electrical volts.
  • Lightning heats the channel of air it passes through up to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit—about five times hotter than the surface of the sun!
  • According to the Lightning Protection Institute, lightning strikes in 2010 cost over one billion dollars in insured losses, up 15% from the previous year.
  • Lightning strikes cause 18% of all lumberyard fires and 30% of all church fires.
  • Local fire departments respond to over 24,600 fires caused by lightning each year.
  • Lightning starts over 11,000 wildland fires annually.  Each burns an average of 500 acres.

RHINO Metal Buildings

Our prefabricated metal building kits are not only more resistant to lightning damage, they also provide better protection from fire, termites, high winds, heavy snows, and earthquakes. With building lightning protection, RHINO steel buildings go together quickly and easily, like a big erector set.

Why not call today at 888.320.7466 and learn more about the advantages of RHINO-tough prefab metal buildings and building lightning protection?  Our highly trained steel building specialists have experience in grounding metal buildings and are standing by to answer your questions or to give you a no-obligation quote.

- by Bruce Brown,
CEO of RHINO
Steel Building Systems, Inc

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