Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Lightning is the visible discharge of static electricity within a cloud, between clouds, or between the earth and a cloud. Scientists still do not fully understand what causes lightning, but most experts believe that water droplets and ice crystals interact within the cloud. Updrafts in the cloud separate charges so that positive charges (ice crystals) end up at the top of the cloud while negative charges (water droplets) concentrate in the bottom. When the negative charge moves down, a "pilot leader" forms.

This leader rushes toward the earth in discrete steps, approximately 150' in length, ionizing a path in the air. The final breakdown occurs when the path to earth, or an object on the earth is completed and the major part of the lightning discharge current is then carried upward in the return stroke following along the ionized path. The average flash of lightning carries an electrical charge of about 100 million volts.

A lightning protection system provides a means by which this discharge may enter or leave the earth without passing through and damaging conducting parts of a structure, such as those made of wood, brick, tile or concrete. A lightning protection system does not prevent lightning from striking; it provides a means for controlling it and preventing damage by providing a low resistance path for the discharge of lightning energy.

No; they neither attract nor repel lightning. In the event of a strike, a protection system simply creates a predetermined path of low resistance to ground, facilitating a harmless discharge of the lightning strike.

No; a house may be grounded to assure electrical safety; however, grounding is not intended to prevent lightning damage.

No; an antenna is not designed to handle a lightning strike and, instead, allows dangerous current to enter the home.

No; the system can be concealed within the walls during the construction stage. For existing homes, conductors can be semi-concealed.

No; many times after trees are struck, the lightning is side-flashed to the house.

No; an improperly installed system may be dangerous. Lightning protection is a very specialized industry requiring trained technicians. A proper system takes into account your home's design, construction, electrical components, soil condition, location and more.

Maxwell Lighting Protection has extensive experience protecting a wide variety of industries. Some such industries include:
  • Commercial and Industrial
  • Education
  • Medical Facilities
  • Churches and Religious Organizations
  • Airports, Freight and Transportation
  • Government, County and City
  • Waste Water Treatment Plants
  • Casinos and Racinos
  • Hotels
  • Recreation and Theme Parks
  • Residential
  • More!

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