Lightning rods protect homes from strikes

Central Florida businesses see increase in customers during stormy season

After two nights of intense thunder and lightning, some Central Floridians are rushing to prevent their homes from getting struck.

A foot-long lightning rod is 99 percent effective at protecting your home from a lightning strike.

Homeowner Ralph Raamacher said he wants to protect his home, pool and beloved horses on his horse ranch.

"I hope very much never to have lightning strikes but I hope the system will work," he said.

A1 Lightning Protection services owner Jeff Lewis said he's in the middle of his busy season--May to November. He said he outfits more than 100 homes with lightning rods.

The lightning rods don't prevent the strikes from hitting your home. The copper wiring provides a path for the lightning to get around to the ground.

"The benefits of having lightning rods are it's going to allow the lightning to travel down the lightning rod, down the rods to the cable into the ground where it's trying to go rather than using your house to do it," Lewis said. "The cable wraps through the base, into the structure and into the ground. The energy travels down that cable on to a clamp and travels into the ground and disperses it into earth."

An average home of 3 bedrooms, 2 baths would cost around $1,500 to install a lightning rod. Local 6 found the most important part of the process is to hire a certified master installer, with a seal from the Lightning Protection Institute or Underwriters Laboratories.

During lightning storms, Lewis also tells his clients to stay away from phone lines, electrical appliances and to avoid the water.

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