While there are many factors involved in determining if lightning will strike a building - including location, time of year, and proximity to other buildings - the threat is real and costly around the world. Even if you are in a part of the world where lightning levels are low, or if you are in a building protected by taller buildings around it, a direct lightning strike is not the only way to damage sensitive electronic equipment. Damage from lightning includes expensive downtime, loss of important data, and the potential safety threats of critical automation equipment being down, as in a hospital or sewerage treatment plant. And that doesn’t even take into account the expense of replacing blown-out electronic equipment.
Let’s consider your electronic equipment, specifically. Lightning indirectly causes earth-voltage spikes and electromagnetic fields, which wreak havoc with electronic power and signal circuits. This alone can fry anything connected to the circuits, including coaxial, Ethernet, and telephone lines. But the damage doesn’t stop at one building. Entire campuses may be linked by above-ground and below-ground cabling systems, which can carry a spike vast distances to burn out electronics.
While there is no one method that is certain to protect electronics from a direct strike, there are many cost-effective measures that must be taken to increase the odds of the survival of your electrical equipment. Lightning protectors come in many shapes and sizes and L-com carries most of them: Coaxial protectors use gas-filled tubes to discharge electrical spikes before they can fry radios, SCADA equipment, and anything attached to an antenna (a tempting target for lightning). CAT5/5e/6 and PoE protectors ground out and discharge spikes that can permanently blackout security cameras and equipment. Telephone/DSL/T1 protectors can prevent your POTS or other telephone system from expensive downtime. RS422-485 protectors save sensors, control lines, and AISG lines from failing to contain disasters. L-com even carries Video/Coax protectors, USB protectors, and 4-20 mA Current Loop protectors, along with a host of others. The L-com website lists many of our protectors with a handy lightning guide to demonstrate the strength of the protection in which you’re investing. Don’t risk your business by failing to build-in lightning protection to your infrastructure.
L-com Global Connectivity 45 Beechwood Drive North Andover, MA 01845www.L-com.com E-mail: sales@L-com.com Phone: 1-800-341-5266 Fax: 1-978-689-9484