Lightning protection of residential and public buildings: regulations and standards

During the existence of the Soviet Union, the installation of lightning rods was conducted according to strictly defined standards, which were determined by the ministry. There was a single standard of volumes and regulations of lightning protection approved by the Ministry of Energy, and noone came up with the idea of offering or requesting any other options. It's amazing how absurd these detailed rules and standards turned out to be.

State regulations on lightning protection of residential and public buildings

Many of the decrees of that time still work and are prescribed in our state, although science has gone far ahead, and the standards themselves are illogical. For example, up to this day there is a Russian standard "Instruction for the installation of lightning protection of buildings and structures AD 34.21.122-87", in which the obvious preference is given to lightning protection of public facilities, moving the residential sector to the background.

That is, first of all, the state takes care of the safety of schools and kindergartens in accordance with this regulation about the safety of children in public places. However, nobody cares about what will happen to these children at home, lightning protection of residential buildings, according to the Soviet legislative bodies, and the modern Russian ministry, is not so relevant. The main thing is that lightning does not strike into a public place.

If you look at the table of this standard, then residential buildings stand at the very bottom, after pigsties and house pipes, and in the opinion of the ministry employees, such objects require lightning protection only in some cases:

  1. the height of the building should exceed 25 meters in comparison with the surrounding objects within a radius of 400 meters;
  2. if the height of the house is more than 30 meters, and it is remote from any building by 400 meters or more.

What should be the volume of lightning protection

If such a headline appeared in a scientific or technical publication 10-20 years ago, there would be a public resonance, up to the civil-political unreliability of the author with all the ensuing consequences. After all, the regulatory documents on lightning protection, like any other standard prescribed by the center, was considered a dogma, an unquestionable guide to action. At best, the author would be accused of ignorance and incompetence on this issue.

All the documents are talking about the necessary minimum, designed to guarantee the safety of people and buildings. Naturally, lightning protection of public facilities, especially with corrosive environments, combustible substances, explosive products, should differ from the lightning conductors of residential buildings.

Modern state supervision bodies are not particularly concerned about the security of the residential sector, since the brick and reinforced concrete, of which these houses are built, does not burn and does not contribute to the spread of the fire. People inside the building are not likely to burn alive, that is why the authorities are indifferent to this issue.

Lightning rods in private premises

A future owner invests a considerable capital into the construction of a house, not even a multi-storey one. In doing so, he expects a long period of operation. He naturally does not want to lose his property due to a lightning strike, so he is interested in full-blown lightning protection of residential buildings, concerning his house. Those minor issues, which are prescribed by the chart of the above-mentioned standard, will not satisfy it.

The answer, what should be the optimal amount of protection, relative to his house, should be learned from the designer. Working on the design of the building, the designer must take these parameters into account and answer the customer's question, because he has the right to know where the lightning can hit his house, what the scale of the damage is, what means he needs to spend for maximum lightning protection of residential and public buildings with a 100 % security guarantee.

To give answers to such questions, the designer needs to determine the frequency of lightning strikes of direct lightning strike into the building

The material was created on the basis of an article by professor Eduard Meerovich Bazelyan "Norming of lightning protection of residential and public buildings".


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