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Lightning Risk Assessment Guide
For Your Home of Other Buildings
Lightning loss risk assessment for your home or other buildings involves the evaluation of various criteria to determine the risk of loss due to a lightning strike. This guide will assist you in determining if your building is at risk for a lightning strike. It's not possible to cover each special design element in this guide that may render a structure more or less susceptible to lightning damage. In those special cases it is recommended that you seek advice from a lighting assessment expert. Personal and economic factors are often very important and should be considered in addition to the assessment obtained by use of the following guide.
Click here to print a chart to assess the risk of a lightning strike to your building.
The following variables should be considered to determine the need for protection against lightning for a given building or structure:
Please record the number value that is associated to the closest
match in each section of the chart above. Select only one per section. Add sections 1 thru 5. Then divide by the number selected in section 6. Compare
the result at the end of the page.
Type of Structure - INDEX A
(determine one type from Index A)
Type of Construction - INDEX B
(determine one type from Index B)
Relative Location - INDEX C
(determine one type from Index C)
Topography - INDEX D
(determine one type from Index D)
Occupancy and Contents - INDEX E
(determine one type from Index E)
Lightning Frequency Isoceraunic Level - INDEX F
(determine one type from Index F)
Few areas in the United States are free from thunderstorms and their attendant hazards, but some areas have more storms than others. The map shows the incidence of thunderstorm days - days on which thunderstorms are observed - for the United States. Select one.
Determining the Risk - INDEX RThe Risk Index "R" is obtained by dividing the sum of the values given in Index A - E by the lightning frequency index value obtained from Index F.
To the Contsruction ProfessionalThis reprint of the NFPS's Risk Assessment Guide is in answer to several requests from architects, engineers and others for guidance. If there is any doubt opt to protect the structure. In most cases the costs of doing so are tiny in contrast to the value of the building, it's contents and occupants. We recommend, if based on the use of this guide, you specify lightning protection for a particular property and it is rejected, that you require that the rejection is put in writing for your files.
To the Property OwnerWe recommend that whatever the risk value of your building that you also consider three outside factors that affect advisability of protecting your structure: