Lightning protection testing and maintenance
Section 5 of Electricity at Work Act 1989 states that all lightning conductors and earth grounding installations should be visually inspected and tested at regularly fixed intervals, preferably not exceeding 12 months.
We recommend the interval should be slightly shorter than one year in order to vary the season in which testing takes place over time. This counters the effect of ambient temperature and other seasonal factors on readings from the installation. We record all test conditions and results, and a reminder is sent out before the next test is due.
Each individual earth grounding point and its conductors are electronically tested for resistance to ground. If this reads below an overall maximum of 10 Ohms a Certificate of Compliance is issued.
Power surges or transient over-voltages can be caused as a secondary effect of a lightning strike up to a kilometre away, or by the electrical switching of large inductive loads such as motors and transformers.
Test Strike supplies and installs effective protection from surges with the ESP maintenance free range of voltage protectors ideal for use with:
- Mains power supplies
- Data and telecoms equipment
- RF, CCTV, rail and CATV systems
About regulations compliance
Lightning protection to commercial structures is covered by BS EN 62305:2006 which sets out the required performance of installed systems, and is far more comprehensive than BS6651 which it replaces. It is broken down into the following sections:
BS EN 62305-1 General principles – this provides the basic characteristics of an effective lightning protection system in accordance with the rest of the standards.
BS EN 62305-2 Risk management – details the wider considerations of lightning strikes such as danger to life, possible data loss, and cultural impacts if heritage buildings are damaged. Secondary economic implications of loss of services in the wake of lightning strikes are also analysed.
BS EN 62305-3 Physical damage to structures and life hazard – describes the basic categories of protection from lightning according to risk, and provides detailed guidance for an engineer designing a lightning protection system.
BS EN 62305-4 Electrical and electronic systems within structures – provides updated information and guidance for the protection of the sensitive electronic equipment typical in modern buildings, including servers and wired networks. A zoning system is recommended to help protect such equipment from the primary and secondary effects of lightning strikes.