Mahaffey Blog

Is Lightning Protection Necessary with Temporary Structures?

If you have an event or project that requires a temporary structure, you probably have a lot of questions going through your head. How much will this cost? Will it be sturdy enough? What company do I need to contact?

As storm season ramps up, even more questions arise that have to do with weather protection. How do you ensure the structure will provide shelter from the sun, rain, wind and lightning?

The likelihood of a thunderstorm increases in the summertime, but is lightning protection necessary with temporary structures year-round? The short answer is, yes, it’s a good idea.

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What's in your temporary structure?

Today’s competitive businesses demand more sophisticated electrical systems and communication infrastructures. This means there is a much higher need for lightning protection than ever before. In fact, even an indirect lightning strike on a building or nearby utility can cause damage as its currents radiate out from the strike zone. 

The accessories and amenities inside your temporary structure may impact whether you choose to add lightning protection. Longer-term semi-permanent structures often have amenities like televisions, WiFi routers, computers and other electrical components that are at risk for lightining damage. 

Additionally, if lighting and climate control are needed, the electrical outlets and wires increase the risk of potential damage if lightning were to strike the structure. 

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The saying "better safe than sorry" applies when considering lightning protection, especially when it comes to protecting the valuable electrical equipment inside.

The chances of lightning striking any given building are quite low. Still, no one thinks a lightning strike will impact them until it actually does. Most engineered temporary structures rely on largely metal-based steel or aluminum frames for durability. By nature, these frame can increases the risk of a lightning strike, because metal placed fairly high in the sky creates a quick and easy path.

Lightning is unpredictable and dangerous in any situation. Work with a partner who can develop a protection plan for your temporary or semi-permanent structure to avoid the possibility of severe damage from a natural occurrence like lightning.

Interested in learning more about industrial fabric structure solutions and how to protect your assets from harsh weather or lightning?

Topics: Clearspan Fabric Structure Extreme Weather Structures