Do I Need Surge Protection if the House or Office has Lightning Rods?

Yes, absolutely! In the rare event of a direct lighting strike to a home, structural damage to the home can normally be prevented by the use of lightning rods or other lightning protection system (LPS). But, lightning protection systems offer little protection against lightning damage to electronics within a building. This means that although a LPS should reduce or eliminate the risk of the roof or another part of the building being damaged by a direct lightning strike, only a whole home surge protection system can protect the owner’s investment in electrical and electronic equipment. This is clearly stated in Section in the IEEE publication How to Protect Your House and Its Contents from Lightning (IEEE Guide for Surge Protection of Equipment Connected to AC Power and Communication Circuits).

“… a direct lightning strike to the structure. This type of strike is very rare, even in high-lightning areas. It can severely damage a structure without a lightning protection system (LPS), and will generally damage most electronic equipment in the house. The structure damage can normally be prevented by a properly installed LPS of Faraday rods and down conductors, but the LPS alone provides little protection for the electronic equipment in the house…The National Electrical Code (NEC) and CEC require certain grounding, bonding and protection features which are intended to protect against lightning…Figure 3 shows certain basic grounding and protection requirements of the NEC and CEC…These safeguards greatly reduce the risk of shock or electrocution to a person in the house, and the risk of fires caused by lightning. However, they are totally inadequate to prevent damage to electrical and electronic equipment.”

Systems integrators offer a unique understanding of how electronic systems are powered, how they communicate, and what they are designed to do.  Because of this knowledge the integrator is the best person to design a surge protection system for a custom home. The integrator knows all the copper wiring that enters and leaves the building. They know how and where they can install surge protection units without disruption or having to reprogram systems. This makes the systems integrator an intricate and indispensable part of designing any whole home surge protection system.

A Transient Protection Design system is close to 100% effective in stopping all damaging surge activity on both power and data lines. Having a systems integrator that can quickly diagnoses and explain potentially damaging situations is of great benefit to the home owner or business owner. A TPD system offers huge benefits and future ROI saving to the owner, especially when the facility contains building automation and lighting control systems.