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Basic knowledge

Lightning - Fascinating to watch, but dangerous

The powerful natural phenomenon of lightning and thunder has been fascinating mankind ever since.

In Greek mythology, Zeus, the Father of Gods, is seen as the dominion of the sky whose power is often envisioned as a lightning bolt. The Romans attributed this power to Jupiter and the continental Germanic tribes to Donar, known to the North Germans as Thor.

For a long time, the enormous force of a thunderstorm was associated with a supernatural power and humans felt at the mercy of this power. Since the Age of Enlightenment and the advancement of technology, this heavenly spectacle has been scientifically investigated. In 1752, Benjamin Franklin’s experiments proved that the phenomenon of lightning is an electrical charge.

Meteorological estimations say that about 9 billion lightning flashes occur each day around the world, most of them in the tropics. Nevertheless, the number of reported damage as a result of direct or indirect lightning effects is on the rise.

Lightning protection systems

Lightning protection systems are supposed to protect buildings from fire or mechanical destruction and to protect persons in buildings from injury or even death.

Lightning protection zone concept

Lightning protection zone concept

The LPZ concept according to IEC 62305-4:2010 makes it easier to plan, implement and monitor comprehensive protection measures.

In this approach, the building is subdivided into zones with different risk potentials. Based on these zones, the necessary lightning and surge protection devices and components are determined.

When lightning strikes

Find out more about the formation and types of lightning. Our brochure "When lightning strikes" provides more detailed information on how to save lives and protect material assets.

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