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Building Construction Concerns for Firefighters: Lightning Protection

By Gregory Havel For centuries, lightning strikes have caused serious damage and fires to buildings and other structures, and have also killed the occupants of buildings that were struck. Protection of structures from the effects of lightning strikes is more precise today than it was in 1752 at the time of the experiments and the original invention of lightning protection by Benjamin Franklin. The original lightning protection system of that era included a number of metal rods attached to the walls and roof of a building. These rods were connected by copper wire, which was connected to metal rods driven 10 feet into the ground. When lightning struck, it usually struck a rod and its energy...

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