Crucial to the installation of any lightning protection system, lightning conductor testing should also be carried out on existing systems by skilled personnel on a regular basis, using calibrated test equipment, to ensure safety and to comply with the relevant legislation.
The lightning conductor is the metal rod or wire that is attached to an exposed part of a building or tall structure to divert lightning strikes harmlessly into the ground. If lightning hits the building, it will go through the conductor rather than passing through the building’s structure.
If a bolt of lightning strikes a building where there is no lightning protection, there are potentially disastrous consequences. It could cause structural damage to the building, start a fire, or cause electrocution, leading to injuries or even loss of life.
The lightning rod or conductor is a single component, requiring a connection to earth to function effectively. Conductors are manufactured in different forms including solid, hollow, rounded, pointed and flat strips. They have one common attribute: they are all made of a conductive material, such as aluminium or copper – the most commonly used materials are copper and its alloys.
Our experienced engineers and technicians are skilled in the required testing procedures, with all work completed in compliance with the UK industry standard, BS EN 62305. By law, lightning protection testing must be carried out at the installation stage and then at 11-month intervals.
All conductors, joints and other parts must be inspected, and continuity testing must be carried out across the whole system. Reports detailing the condition, with recommendations, photographs and estimates on the cost of the work required are completed.
In the case of regular testing for maintenance purposes, existing records and drawings are updated for future reference. If the regular conductor testing reveals a deterioration of the system that may reduce the level of protection, or if there have been any changes to the structure, then the lightning protection system may be inadequate. In these circumstances, an upgrade or maintenance worksmay be necessary.