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Author: ptheland Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 129261  
Subject: Re: Lightning proof house Date: 5/7/2002 3:21 AM
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Perhaps you need to address a different problem. You don't really want to prevent a lightning strike, you want to prevent lightning damage to your house. Two very different things.

Preventing lightning strikes is, IMHO, a nearly impossible task. As has already been pointed out, the electric forces in lightning are huge. Lightning travels hundreds or thousands of feet from the clouds to the ground, traveling mainly through air - which is usually an insulator. (I've recently watched a program which documented lightning strikes traveling several miles - hitting so far from the cloud that the cloud wasn't visible and the skies were perfectly clear in the area of the impact.) So how do you think that you can prevent this electric charge from traveling it's last few feet through your house.

It makes sense to instead create an attractive and SAFE place for the lightning to strike and cause little or no damage. By channeling the energy through a lightning rod, you are preventing (or at least minimizing) the damage to your house.

Remember that a car is a reasonably safe place in a thunderstorm, not because the tires insulate it from the ground (lightning can easily traverse the air gap between the car and the ground), but because the metal exterior of the car creates an easy path for the electricity around the occupants. You want to do the same thing in your house.

--Peter
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