It’s not often that we get lightning storms in Southern California, but did you know that lightning strikes the ground thousands of times each year in California, including thousands hitting homes. If you’ve been around long enough, then you know that it sometimes gets smokey in the air because of fires. What’s the number one cause of the fires? Lightning. That’s why today we’re going to address this elephant in the room that suggests a lightning protection system be installed outside all homes.
Lightning Rods for the SoCal Aesthetic
You may be thinking that a lightning rod is a huge flagpole-looking eye sore that sits in front of or behind a building that catches the lightning and has to be huge enough harness millions of volts otherwise it might melt or blow up. Not the case. As a matter of fact, lightning rods and the lightning balls that are needed to provide protection on on of our homes with brilliant curb appeal in SoCal are hardly noticeable unless they were pointed out. Imagine if someone did notice it though, is there anything to be embarrassed about? Of course not! You’ll get the reputation as the smartest guy on the block or an early adopter of technology that is found all over other parts of the country.
How Lightning Rods Work
Lightning rods, contrary to popular mythology, do not attract lightning any more than a weather vein on your roof. If lightning strikes a home without a lightning rod, the chances are good that the lightning will make it into the home’s electrical system and fry circuitry and appliances. This is a bad and dangerous option. Lightning rods are made of a special high-quality braided wire made specifically for withstanding millions of volts of electricity. Because the electricity comes so quickly, the wire must not have any 90 degree bends or U bends in it. It is required that they are put somewhere on the home where they can take a straight shot to the ground, going straight down to the ground. If made out of good materials, a lightning rod can sustain 100+ strikes. This is highly atypical but happens in some cases where tall industrial smoke stacks reach high into the sky. The ornamental balls, by the way, are only for decoration and serve no purpose. The don’t actually break if they get struck by lightning either. A good lightning protection system is a very cheap investment which will give you the kind of peace of mind that you can’t get simply from having “earthquake insurance” – because even with earthquake insurance you still sustain damage. With this kind of lightning insurance, you circumvent damage altogether, so look in to it and be the coolest person in the hood with a sweet lightning rod.