When storm clouds become negatively charged enough, the electrons jump off and hit the closest positively charged object on the ground. This is where lightning comes from, and the object can be anything: cars, trees and even steel buildings.
There are a lot of myths surrounding the safety of lightning strikes and steel buildings. So, our experts at Metal Warehouse Inc. have decided to bust a few of them and to show you the truth about how steel structures are actually the well-protected against lightning.
Currents, Not Volts
One hundred million volts from one lightning strike sounds impressively dangerous. Volts are merely a measure of electric potential energy. It’s when this potential “flows” that it becomes deadly. This flow is known as a current, and it’s the reason why lightning strikes can be extremely unsafe.
If lightning harms steel structures, then driving through a thunderstorm in a car would be a very unpopular idea. The truth is, the frames of pre-engineered steel buildings act as a “shield” that transfers most of the energy of a lightning strike down to the ground, leaving the objects and people inside them virtually unaffected. This phenomenon is known as Faraday shielding. The building itself becomes a Faraday cage that equally distributes the charges throughout its surface and keeps you well protected.
Just because you’re “shielded” from the brunt of a lightning strike doesn’t mean your building is completely safe. Anything in contact with the building itself like electrical appliances can get fried from the sudden surge of energy. Therefore, it’s still preferable to have lightning protection systems in place to avoid potentially expensive damage.
Metal Warehouse Inc. is your trusted provider of steel and metal construction kits for carports, sheds and buildings. Give us a call at (903) 771-2058, or fill out our online contact form to request a free quote today.