ESFI and LPI Warn against Lightning's Underrated Dangers

MARYVILLE, Mo., May 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- May is National Electrical Safety Month and the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) and the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) are reminding homeowners about the dangers of lightning; an underrated and often forgotten electrical hazard.  According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), lightning is responsible for billions of dollars in property damage.  The I.I.I. cites a 14.8% increase in 2010 vs. 2009 homeowner lightning losses, with the average cost per lightning claim up 12.8% during this period, as well.  

"When consumers purchase expensive electronics, lightning danger probably doesn't even cross their minds," said ESFI president Brett Brenner. "In reality, a single bolt of lightning can cause electrical surges capable of damaging or destroying sensitive equipment.  Luckily, there are steps you can take to prepare your home and protect your electronics from this unpredictable, yet common hazard."

A lightning protection system is the best way to dissipate the dangerous electrical discharge to eliminate damage to a structure.  The system provides a network of low-resistance paths to safely intercept lightning's dangerous electricity and direct it to ground without impact to the structure or its occupants.  When lightning's electricity is confined to a properly designed conductive path via the lightning protection system, damage is minimized or eliminated. When considering lightning protection, the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) emphasizes the importance of contracting with a qualified and experienced LPI-certified specialist.  

"LPI-certified specialists are trained to install systems in accordance with nationally recognized safety standards of LPI, NFPA and UL," explained Bud VanSickle, executive director at LPI. "Quality control is paramount and installation is not a do-it-yourself project."

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May to increase public awareness of the electrical hazards around us at home, work, school and play.  ESFI is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety.  For more information about ESFI and electrical safety, visit www.electricalsafety.org.

LPI is a not-for-profit, nationwide group founded in 1955 to promote lightning safety, awareness and protection education.  The organization provides a certification program to qualify competence in lightning protection installation, design and inspection.  Visit the LPI website at www.lightning.org for more information.      

SOURCE Lightning Safety Alliance



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