Turkey sees some dramatic lightning strikes every year, each strike can have between 100 million and 1 billion volts which is a strong reminder of the damage that can be done by electrical storms.
What is a lightning rod?
A lightning rod is a metal rod or conductor mounted on top of a building and electrically connected to the ground through a wire. This protects the building in the event of lightning. If lightning strikes the building it will preferentially strike the rod, and be conducted harmlessly to ground through the wire, instead of passing through the building.
3 main hazards
• Fire danger: The biggest danger lightning poses to a house is fire. Wood and other flammable building materials can easily be ignited anywhere an exposed lightning channel comes in contact with (or passes through) them. It is most common for lightning to start a fire in the attic or roof of a house, as the channel usually has to pass through some of the structural material in the roof before it can reach a more conductive path such as wiring or pipes. When lightning current travels through wires, it will commonly burn them up - presenting a fire ignition hazard anywhere along the affected circuits.
• Power surge damage: If lightning chooses any of the home's electrical wiring as its primary or secondary path, the explosive surge can damage even non-electronic appliances that are connected. Even if most of the lightning current takes other paths to ground, the home's electrical system will experience enough of a surge to cause potentially significant damage to anything connected to it, electronics in particular.
• Shock wave damage: Another major source of damage from lightning is produced from the explosive shock wave. The shock waves that lightning create is what produces the thunder that we hear, and at close range, these waves can be destructive. Lightning can easily fracture concrete, brick, cinderblock and stone. Brick and stone chimneys are commonly damaged severely by lightning. Lightning's shock waves can blow out plaster walls, shatter glass, create trenches in soil and crack foundations. Shrapnel is a common secondary damage effect, with objects sometimes found embedded in walls!
Credit - http://stormhighway.com
Is my property at risk of a lightning strike?
No one can say for sure that your home would be struck by a lightning bolt but there are factors that can could increase the chances of your property being hit.
1) Do you have trees surrounding your property that exceed your house in height?
2) Are you in a tall apartment block?
3) Do you have a metal roof?
4) Does your roof hold a satellite dish? Metal tank?
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