Protecting government buildings from lightning strikes is vital, not only to prevent physical damage to the structure – and possible loss of life and injury to employees – but also because these buildings are likely to house sensitive electronic systems.

Even if a lightning strike didn’t cause serious injury to anyone working in the building, damage to the structure could cause serious financial and operational difficulties, due the increased reliance on electronic systems. This is reflected in any risk assessment on a government building and the relevant level of protection is installed accordingly.

A lightning conductor system on the building isn’t sufficient to protect any electronic equipment within the building, which will require specialist surge protection to prevent damage from lightning’s electro-magnetic impulse.

British Standard BS EN 62305 focuses on co-ordinated surge protection devices to nullify the effects of the lightning electro-magnetic impulse, protecting not only the structure but also the equipment within the environment.

Governmental users of lightning protection systems are responsible for the protection of critical and sensitive assets. Although each department may have its own specifications or standards for lightning protection requirements, BS EN 62305 remains the basic legislation for all government buildings.

Former Penn School, Beaconsfield

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