Should you invest in lightning protection?

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. (WWLP) –  Lightning strikes have been a frequent occurrence in western Massachusetts lately. While lightning is somewhat unpredictable, there are ways to reduce your chances of having your home sustain damage from a strike.

On Tuesday, 22News went to Northeast Lightning Protection, a company in Bloomfield Connecticut that specializes in retrofitting homes and businesses with lightning rods. The idea is to dramatically reduce the chances of a damaging strike.

“Putting a Faraday cage of lightning protection: cables, lightning rods, bonding, grounding and surge protection on a house, you can protect it up to 94 percent of all lightning strikes,” James Barnard of Northeast Lighting Protection said.

The lightning protection system provides a path for lightning to go to the ground without damaging your home. Aluminum or copper Lightning rods are installed on your roof. Those lightning rods are connected to aluminum cables, which take the electricity safely around the home and down into the ground.

“It’s just looking to dissipate and looking for whatever metal it can find to get to ground or whatever will conduct it best, and that’s what the copper will do. The cooper will conduct lightning straight to ground to avoid any physical damage to the building,” Northeast designer Seth Beecher said,

The technology has improved over the decades. More than 20 years ago, it was thought that having a sharp tip on the end of the lightning rod was best for providing a good strike point, but now they go with a rounded tip, which has better success. Lightning rods are designed to be hit over and over again.

Getting this installed can be expensive, however. It costs between $3,000 and $4,000 for a typical home. But some insurance companies lower premiums if it is installed.

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