MARYVILLE, Mo., Oct. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) is showing its support for Fire Prevention Week October 7-13, and reaching out to fire departments registered on the "Sparky's Wish List: Partnering for Fire-Safe Communities," an NFPA-sponsored program which helps connect local fire departments with life-saving fire safety resources and educational materials. In its support of fire departments on Sparky's Wish List, LPI is sponsoring a "Campaign to Help Build Lightning Safe Communities" which will provide complimentary lightning protection systems for designated fire stations in lightning-prone locations in the U.S. This campaign is a continuation of the partnership initiative LPI began in 2011 to provide lightning protection resources to the public and the fire safety community.
According to a recent NFPA report, titled "Lightning Fires and Lightning Strikes," fire departments in the U.S. respond to an estimated 24,600 lightning fires each year. These fires caused an estimated average of 12 civilian deaths, 47 civilian injuries and $407 million in property damage per year.
Lightning associated with thunderstorms and sometimes hurricanes can pose a variety of fire hazards and these fires have highlighted the dangerous and destructive impact that lightning can have on unprotected homes and structures. The massive power of lightning's electrical charge and intense heat can induce power surges through circuitry, burn holes in gas piping, explode brick and roofing materials and ignite structural fires. LPI is seizing Fire Prevention Week as an opportunity to remind the public of the importance of lightning protection systems in helping to prevent property loss and injury during lightning storms.
"Through outreach efforts with the fire safety community, it came to our attention that many fire stations across the country, including stations in high lightning risk areas, are lacking lightning protection systems to protect their personnel, structures and equipment," said Bud VanSickle, LPI executive director. "The Sparky's Wish List campaign prompted LPI to lend support to fire stations by providing lightning protection systems to vulnerable stations in areas of need," explained VanSickle.
"NFPA 780 (Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems), provides guidelines to safeguard people and property to reduce lightning risks," explains Ben Evarts, research analyst with NFPA's Fire Analysis and Research Division. "Fire Prevention Week is a good time for firefighters to educate on lightning safety and increase awareness within their community about this preventable risk."
The Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) is a not-for-profit nationwide group founded in 1955 to promote lightning safety, awareness and education and is a leading resource for lightning protection information and system requirements. The LPI certifies individuals for the installation of lightning protection systems through a Master Installer testing program to qualify competence. LPI recently introduced a third-party inspection program for quality assurance. Information about follow-up inspection services can be found at www.lpi-ip.com. For a list of certified contractors and other information about national safety standards for lightning protection installation, visit the LPI website at www.lightning.org.
From October 7-13, lightning protection and safety advocates will support the "Sparky's Wish List: Partnering for Fire-Safe Communities" project of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in conjunction with Fire Prevention Week 2012 by reaching out to fire departments that have registered a wish list and offering them a complimentary lightning protection system.
SOURCE Lightning Safety Alliance