LPI Grant Seeks Research Proposals for Lightning Loss Data

Oct 30, 2006, 00:00 ET from Lightning Safety Alliance

    HARTFORD, Conn., Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The Lightning Protection
 Institute (LPI) is soliciting research proposals to reveal property loss
 data and statistics on U.S. properties damaged or destroyed by lightning.
 Since lightning is one of the most common, yet destructive weather hazards
 in the country, the LPI Board of Directors is administering a grant to fund
 a comprehensive research project. According to weather experts,
 approximately 20 million cloud-to-ground strikes occur each year, resulting
 in extensive property damage to U.S. homes and businesses. In fact,
 insurance industry resources cite lightning as responsible for more than $5
 billion in annual losses. Through funding of this project, the LPI hopes to
 publish current loss information to detail lightning incidents on a
 national basis.
     "Lightning is a powerful and costly force of nature that is often
 misunderstood and underestimated," says Bud VanSickle, executive director
 of the LPI. "Lightning protection systems which are installed in accordance
 with national safety standards (NFPA and UL), can mitigate this hazard."
     Unlike threats posed by other forces of nature such as tornadoes,
 hurricanes or floods, lightning's incredible power can be controlled on a
 specified path via a lightning protection system. Lightning protection
 systems installed in accordance with safety standards are designed to
 provide a conductive path to dissipate and ground the electrical charge,
 thus eliminating a fire or explosion that can occur when lightning tries to
 travel through nonconductive materials on a structure (brick, wood, mortar,
 tile, etc.).
     While mandates and requirements exist for lightning protection systems
 to be installed on certain commercial, educational, governmental and
 healthcare facilities, there continues to be no "national approach"
 concerning mitigation. LPI's goal to publish realistic loss statistics is
 intended to raise awareness with authorities, construction planners and
 property owners of the need for adequate lightning protection on a broad
     Written proposals outlining research methodology and credentials will
 be accepted by the LPI office through December 31, 2006. Project completion
 is expected within the 2007-2008 timeframe, and funding will be based on
 the best proposal response. LPI is a nationwide, not-for-profit
 organization founded in 1955 to promote lightning protection education,
 awareness and safety. LPI's membership includes architects, engineers,
 safety directors, scientists, manufacturers and installers who improve
 safety through lightning protection. For more information, contact LPI at
 http://www.lightning.org or 660-582-0429.
     Kim Loehr
     Lightning Safety Alliance

SOURCE Lightning Safety Alliance