Surge Suppression Mitigates Severe Storm Damage

Posted on: July 17, 2017

Learn how to minimize damage to your commercial building from lightning strikes

While you may have a surge suppressor on some of your computers and other electrical items, you may not realize just how much damage lightning can do to other, more expensive and integral equipment in a commercial facility – including your life safety systems.

What happens when lightning strikes?

Florida averages roughly 1.4 million lightning strikes a year, and a single bolt of lightning can generate heat of up to 60,000 degrees Fahrenheit and millions of volts of electricity. Lightning that hits a structure during a severe storm can send a massive current throughout the electrical infrastructure of a building. And if your electronics are not adequately protected with surge suppressors at proper, centralized locations, you could be left with catastrophic damage to vital equipment.

How can lightning affect your fire alarm system?

When business owners are thinking of the different types of equipment that must be protected from severe storms, few consider their fire safety apparatus. But a surge can destroy a life safety system – fire alarms have dedicated circuits which, if left unprotected, could malfunction in the event of an emergency and cost approximately $30,000 to $40,000 in repairs.

Surge suppression and risk assessments will protect your building

Surge suppression is an important service LifeSafety Management provides to our South Florida customers. We install surge suppressors in all of our life safety solutions, hidden away in the junction boxes and fire alarm boxes of the system. With adequate, proactive surge suppression, damage from a severe lightning strike can be drastically reduced, limiting your financial risk.

We also conduct a thorough risk assessment of your building’s electrical vulnerabilities. A lightning specialist and a grounding specialist will inspect the structure and its components to identify any issues and propose safeguards.

We typically recommend and install surge suppressors from Ditek, which offers a wide range of solutions covering everything from life safety systems to surge protection of the telephone lines leading into your fire alarm panel. Ditek has provided a full suite of surge suppressors for more than 25 years, and continually innovates its products to meet the unique needs of different commercial customers.

Lightning is attracted to electronics in most commercial buildings

Commercial buildings typically contain extensive security camera systems, computer networks, and wireless access points in addition to fire alarm systems, all of which tend to attract lightning. Don’t leave this equipment vulnerable to catastrophic electrical damage by failing to have proactive (and typically inexpensive) surge suppression measures in place. Being prepared will save a huge amount of money in the long run, especially given the frequency of thunder storms in South Florida.

Contact LifeSafety Management at (800) 330-1158 or fill out our contact form to set up a free risk assessment by our experienced team of professionals.