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A lightning rod is a lightning protector for buildings and structures. They are connected electrically through a wire to the ground and fixed to the top of a building. If lightning does occur it will strike the rod first that will then conduct the power flowing it through the wire to the ground preventing any harmful effects to the structure. Depending on the size of the structure a roof top network of lightning rods with multiple wire pathways can be placed in various positions to prevent any damage to any part of the structure. These are a great preventative against lightning electrocution and fire but require skill to install properly so a qualified technician is required. This kind of lightning prevention system should last along with your property as long as it has the correct maintenance and inspections. Some have been functioning 50 years or more.
The Underwriters Laboratories estimate that for an average 2,500 sq. foot building needing a usual standard network should cost around $2,500.
Protection for trees - If you have a tree as close as 10 feet to your home that is taller than your roof then it also needs lightning protection. As well as protecting the tree, you are also preventing any side flashes that could bounce off the tree onto your home.
Always use a qualified technician from an established contracting company. They should be a member of the Chamber of Commerce and install your system according to the Underwriters Laboratories Master Label Certificate, or hold a certificate from the Lightning Protection Institute. You will receive through your mail a UL Master Label certificate or LPI Certificate after installation and your payment. Do not be tempted to use a contractor offering you a good deal without the above credentials.
Cost to install a lightning rod varies greatly by region. Get free estimates from electricians in your city.