Lightning advice for churches
05 October 2018
It is common knowledge that tall buildings attract lightning and for centuries, the spires of churches have dominated the skylines making them particularly vulnerable to lightning strikes.
What happens when lightning strikes?
- Structural damage to the fabric of the church
This is usually minor but can result in fires or falling masonry.
Indirect damage to electrical systems and equipment following an electrical surge.
How can you prevent lightning damage?
Does insurance cover lightning strikes?
- A lightning conductor is not a condition of cover but Ecclesiastical does advise having one fitted if the risk assessment indicates one is required.
- Simple level 3 (loss of cultural heritage) and level 4 (loss of economic value) lightning protection systems found on most churches need to be formally tested every 4 years as per recommendations provided under BS EN 62305.
- Older lightning protection systems do not have to be upgraded unless the upgrade has been identified during one of Ecclesiastical’s risk assessments of the church.
- Installing surge protection equipment can prevent damaging electrical power surges.
- Any work on a church’s lightning protection system should be conduct
- Any work on a church’s lightning protection system should be conducted by a competent contractor such as a member of ATLAS (Association of Technical Lightning and Access Specialists).
You can also download our lightning guidance notes for more detailed advice.