Code for Installation of Lightning Rods
Every year a considerable amount of property damage and loss of life results from the action of lightning. While no concrete figures are available for the total amount of damage caused by lightning in Canada, it has been estimated that in a five year period, twenty-four million dollars worth of damage resulted from the action of lightning in the United States.
The protection of buildings from damage by lightning is largely a matter of economics. In most instances, lightning protection which would render a building absolutely immune to damage under any and all conditions would be prohibitively expensive. However, a properly installed lightning rod system can provide a degree of protection which, if not 100 per cent effective, will ensure that in nearly all cases of lightning strokes to buildings, little or no damage to the structure will result.
In some of the provinces of Canada, the installation of lightning rods comes under the jurisdiction or is related t0 the work of the Chief Electrical Inspector. In other provinces, however, it is the responsibility of the Provincial Fire Marshals.
In 1951, at a meeting of the CSA Committee 0n CE Code, Part I, in which the Chief Electrical Inspectors of each of the provinces are members, a resolution was passed recommending that the CSA establish a recommendatory standard for lightning rods which would cover material and general physical characteristics and possibly installation requirements.
Subsequently, a technical committee was organized, tentatively under the jurisdiction of the Sectional Committee on Electrical Work, to prepare an appropriate standard. In 1955, the Committee was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Sectional Committee on Fire Prevention and Protection and was then reorganized in 1957.
This Code, which the reorganized Committee prepared, is intended to give some guidance in deciding how much lightning protection should be installed in any given instance. Grateful acknowledgement is made to provincial authorities for the use of material appearing in their provincial regulations, and to the Department of Transport for permission to reproduce the iso-ceraunic chart appearing in Appendix E.
This Code was prepared by the Committee on Lightning Rods under the jurisdiction of the Sectional Committee on Fire Prevention and Protection and was approved by these Committees and the CSA Technical Council.
This Code covers the protection from lightning of buildings such as residences, places of public assembly, and buildings of a general industrial nature. It does not cover the protection of buildings of a hazardous nature such as armament factories, oil refineries, etc., where a very high degree of protection is required, and it does not cover the protection of electrical transmission and distribution systems.
This Code also contains a non-mandatory section devoted to the nature of lightning and the general principles upon which lightning protection is based, so that the user of the Code will be able to assess the need for lightning protection in the case of any given structure (see Appendix A). This Code also contains another non—mandatory section on the protection of livestock in fields and covers such aspects as the grounding of wire fences and isolated trees (see Appendix B).