Nothing Guaranteed, But Lightning Rods Can Help
Posted July 5, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — A Nash County family knows first-hand the power of nature. Lightning hit their home Saturday night, and in minutes, everything went up in flames. Fortunately everyone got out okay.
As the area is visited by severe storms, some people are turning to the old, reliable lightning rod to protect their homes.
After suffering such devastation, people might wonder how they can prevent it from happening. There are some options out there.
The first thing you need to know is that there is no protection to a home from a direct lightning strike.
"There are points when lightning can be so strong nothing can ever protect it," said Lorrie Maggio of Carolina Power and Light.
Mike Elder, who has several electronic devices in his home, heard about the CP&L surge protection program and had it installed outside his home to protect from outside strikes.
"The meter socket adapter that he has will protect him from those major surges for his heating and cooling system, so his air will be protected his heating, his refrigerator his range, his diswasher, his dryer," said Maggio.
When lightning strikes something outside a building, such as a nearby building, it can cause a surge in neighbors' electrical appliances such as computers, televisions or major appliances.
"We feel safer but at the same time were not 100 percent safe, so we still are in the habit of running around the house and pulling plugs," said Elder.
Another lightning protection device is the lightning rod.
"It's a safe way path-to-ground," said lighting rod installer Charlie Stephenson. "You have your lightning rod and your conduction and your ground rods whereas if lightning were to strike an unprotected structure it would seek a path inside the building."
Stephenson says lightning rods are about 98 percent effective, but that nothing is 100 percent guaranteed. For that reason, it's best to check home owner's insurance policy.