Residential & Light Commercial Lightning Protection Systems

Residential & Light Commercial Lightning Protection Systems

Class I – buildings under 75’ tall

These are five basic elements in a lightning protection system for a residential or light commercial buildings:

Residential / Light Industrial Air Terminals

Air Terminals

Also known as “lightning rods” or “points”, these are the uppermost elements of the system, where the initial contact between the lightning strike and the system occurs. They are located at all portions of the roof area subject to direct strike, including ridges, flat roof edges, dormers, chimneys and other mechanical projections.


Residential / Light Industrial Air Terminals

Specially built lightning cables (of either copper or aluminum) that interconnect all air terminals and safely conduct the lightning strike to ground.

Residential / Light Industrial Bonding


Connections to mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems made to prevent side flashes (arcs) between these systems and the lightning protection system.

Residential / Light Industrial Grounding


Typically copperclad steel rods driven ten feet into the earth to serve as the safe discharge points for the lightning strike harmlessly into the earth. In some soil conditions these electrodes can be buried flat plates and buried cables.

Residential / Light Industrial Grounding

Surge Arresters

Electrical devises installed on the structure’s electric, telephone, and data/video service entrances. These safely shunt dangerous over-voltage in these services to ground thus helping to prevent damage to the building electrical and electronic systems.

Residential / Light Industrial Special Items

Special Items

These can include adjacent elevated objects (trees, antennas, flag poles) or such items as weather vanes or ornaments on air terminals.