Recognizing the importance of disaster mitigation for the architect and engineering communities,  Build & Protect  provides unique content related to lightning safety and lightning protection system (LPS) design, specification, quality assurance, inspection and maintenance. 

Visit to find out how the inclusion of safety standard-compliant lightning protection systems in your state-of-the-art designs can benefit the building environment.

Why just build?
 When you can build and PROTECT!  
Lightning and Fire Increases at Apartments: Who's counting the strikes?

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an estimated 95,000 apartment structure fires occurred in the U.S. in 2016.  How many of these fires were sparked by lightning is unclear, but a quick Google search of the words "lightning, fires and apartments," reveals news accounts of countless lightning-sparked property losses throughout the country. And that's just what's been reported over the past few months. 

Fire and insurance authorities cite roadblocks to obtaining accurate data about these lightning losses due to a variety factors, namely:  
  1. A complex National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) which is a voluntary data collection depository of U.S. fire departments participating; thus incomplete and subject to field challenges and reporting shortcomings. 
  2. A number of participating departments who fail to provide consistent data (every year). 
  3. FEMA data suggesting that fire reporting to federal or state fire departments or industrial fire brigades is also omitted in NFIRS estimates.
  4. Lightning fire classification charts published by NFPA citing exclusions of fires at apartments or other multi-family housing. 
  5. Non-existent historical data and tracking of "lightning-sparked" fires and ensuing property losses (insurance statistics) at U.S. apartment complexes.
When it comes to lightning and apartment buildings, it's unclear as to who is making final decisions regarding risk assessment, tolerable risk and whether lightning protection should be employed as mitigation. In many cases, d evelopers and home builders play leading roles in the design and construction of residential buildings and apartment complexes with building codes and standards  (voluntary or otherwise), s erving as key drivers in the construction decision-making process. 
Several residents were displaced when lightning ignited an attic fire at this Charlottesville,VA apartment complex on August 30. 

LPI is hopeful that improvements in the fire incident reporting systems can be enacted to make it easier for firefighters to provide good quality data about all fires--including those sparked by lightning. Unfortunately, funding to make even the most minor changes remains a challenge. In the meantime, while funding is under review, LPI encourages fire safety representatives to include lightning in their NFIRS and NFPA reports wherever relevant, so that communities and decision-makers can have an accurate strike count. 

When fire professionals and first-responders take the lead for lightning safety, it helps prevent under-reporting about a potentially-devastating weather hazard and increases awareness about a preventable property risk. 
Save the date for the 2019 LPI/ULPA Conference! 

Improving Lightning Safety on School Campuses 

Safety is a primary concern for every school in the country, and even more so at colleges and universities where large numbers of students reside in campus dormitories and apartments. Severe weather and fires pose special threats to school communities. 

Since lightning is the weather peril that affects nearly every area of the country, it's important that school administrators, coaches, emergency managers and security personnel understand the threat and develop a plan to protect students and fortify their school structures.  Mitigating severe weather threats for large groups of people can be challenging, and implementing a lightning safety policy is no exception. Having clearly communicated measures and a best-practice policy in place can go a long way in preventing a devastating lightning tragedy.

Wondering how your school can assess its lightning risk and reduce exposure? Visit this LPI blog article to learn more.
Protecting Trees from the Lightning Threat 

Building Lightning Safe 
News & Notes from the Community

LPI a Featured Presenter at 2018 NDRC  

LPI will join a panel of  "Big Practice" experts at the 2018 National Disaster Resilience Conference (NDRC18) in Clearwater, FL on November 8. 

Communications Director, Kimberly Loehr, will present information about the growth of LPI's Build & Protect initiative and how lightning protection systems are furthering community-level resilience.

James McGowan, Director of Development, Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank and FLASH board director will moderate the panel which will also include presentations from:  
  • Mark Benthien, Director for Communication, Education and Outreach, USC, Southern California Earthquake Center - Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills: Application of the Collective Impact Framework  
  • Paul Martin, Esq., Regional Vice President, Southwest Region State Affairs, NAMIC -  Creating Demand for Resilient Building: How Do We Make Strong Homes the Next iPhone? 
  • Dr. Rick Knabb, Hurricane Expert and Tropical Program Manager, The Weather Channel/FLASH Leadership Partner - #HurricaneStrong Community Designation  
  • Jim Clifford, Director P&C Underwriting at USAA: Community and Resilience Programs Driving Awareness and Action

Grant Supports Lightning Safety for African Schools
LPI partner, Dr. Mary Ann Cooper, Managing Director of the African Centres for Lightning and Electromagnetics Network ( is pleased to share that the Ludwick Family Foundation (LFF) has agreed to fund a grant to protect three additional 'model schools' and provide lightning safety education for teachers, students and parents in districts throughout Uganda. 

"All LFF board members were very supportive and ALL recommended fully funding this effort," said atmospheric scientist and ACLENet supporter, Tom Alan Warner.

As a Foundation  board member, Warner helped to advocate the merits of the grant proposal.

A generous $99,900 grant from the Ludwick Family Foundation will provide lightning safety education and critical resources to Ugandan government authorities responsible for building and maintenance of school structures. The funding is expected to protect over 1000 children from devastating lightning injuries. 

According to  Dr. Cooper, has submitted three additional grants in the past month to: 
  1. Support the development of more national centres 
  2. Provide lightning safety education curricula 
  3. Pursue the cost of lightning protection for schools  
"We have already had a tremendous outpouring of support from our donors and volunteers when we shared this information with them," said Cooper. "I hope this is just the beginning of more funding success for our mission to protect Africa's most vulnerable from the deadly lightning threat."

To help ensure safety standards are met, a team of LPI board members has volunteered to assist with the development of lists of locally available materials and templates for the school lightning protection systems.   

Visit to learn more about the organization's mission and its objectives for improving lightning safety. 

Mother Nature Makes a (White) House Call 
According to DC news outlets, Mother Nature made a shocking house call  to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on September 4, 2018. 
Not surprisingly, the photo of a massive lightning bolt striking The White House (captured by a CNN photographer), sparked an enlightening conversation on social media regarding the benefits of lightning protection systems.

Politics aside, reporting of the event was fair, balanced and accurate: " There was no damage as The White House has an extensive lightning protection system. "

Do you have a Building Lightning Safe  story to share? 
Send us your news for inclusion in an upcoming issue of Build & Protect. 
Don't Let Lightning Catch You in Its Line of Fire!

Download LPI's National Fire Prevention Week lightning protection infographic here

LPI-IP Takes a Step Forward with New Look & New Website! 

Inspection. Certification. Interpretation. Design. Consulting. And REVIEW! 

The lightning protection industry's benchmark for independent third-party lightning protection system quality assurance has a new logo, new look and a NEW website! 

Have questions about third-party inspection or the LPI-IP Inspection Program? LPI-IP has the answers to all your frequently-asked questions. 

For more information about the LPI-IP Program and its convenient and easy-to-use services, be sure to visit the new website today! 

Why Just Build, When You Can Build AND Protect? 

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