What are the various types of lightning protection?

All equipment that protects sites and buildings from the damage caused by a lightning strike is grouped under this single term. The systems most frequently installed include lightning conductors, simple rods, strung wires and Faraday cages. These are all external lightning protection systems (external LPS) or primary protection systems. Other equipment, such as lightning conductors installed upstream from electrical or electronic equipment, is called internal lightning protection systems (internal LPS) or secondary protection systems.


Are there any lightning prevention systems?

Thunderstorm detectors are the only prevention systems currently available on the market. Their settings are adjusted in accordance with a predetermined level of risk and they trigger an alarm if this threshold is reached. When they are interlocked to production machinery, the latter are automatically switched to safe mode in the event of an identified risk. Thunderstorm detectors are additional to external and internal LPS, and also provide protection for people.


Is it mandatory to install a lightning protection system?

In theory, no. But the need to install such systems is self-evident given the protection they provide and insurance companies’ requirements. Legislation in this area is specific to each country. For example, in Europe, regulations specify that these systems can be installed at all ICPE “facilities classified for environmental protection”.


Do you only work with industry?

Industrial sites make up the vast bulk of our business. However, our teams’ expertise is not limited to this field. Several of the assignments completed by Actemium’s engineers and technicians have involved civil engineering structures, historic monuments and ships: for example, a viaduct on the future coastal highway on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean, a fortified castle in southern France and the largest passenger liner built in 2016 at the STX shipyards in Saint-Nazaire in western France.


Are there any specific maintenance protocols?

Strictly speaking, the word maintenance is not used for lightning protection systems. It is, however, mandatory to perform an initial check on a new installation within the first six months. This inspection must be carried out by an organisation other than the installation company. The system is then checked once a year, alternating between simple and comprehensive checks.


What does a lightning risk assessment involve?

A lightning risk assessment (LRA) involves identifying the equipment and facilities that require protection. It then defines the levels of protection needed. The LRA must be updated whenever changes are made to the facilities, each time the hazard study is revised and in the event of a change in environmental protection classification level (Seveso III Directive). The next step is a technical study that specifically defines the necessary protection equipment and measures, their location and checking methods.


What is a hazard study?

A hazard study aims to identify all the hazardous phenomena that may damage a given industrial facility. It should include proposals for specific measures to improve the site’s safety. The hazard study must be updated at least every five years (Seveso II Directive). This update necessarily triggers a revision of the lightning risk assessment (LRA).


What is the advantage of outsourcing the installation of lightning protection equipment?

Only duly certified and authorised companies may install this type of equipment. Actemium has these “keys”. As lightning protection specialists, its business units have both the skilled human resources and the specific cutting-edge equipment needed (ground current meter to measure soil resistivity, earth ground clamp, etc.). Actemium provides its customers with the assurance of having a system compliant with current regulations.


Can you help me choose a lightning protection solution?

Actemium’s teams work closely with their customers to help them make the right choice, defining the needs, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements, writing specifications and providing project management assistance. They will propose the most appropriate solution.


Are specific certifications needed?

Yes, absolutely. In addition to general certifications (ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, etc.), Actemium’s companies specialising in lightning protection systems are Qualifoudre lightning protection certified. They also have more specific qualifications demanded by the industrial companies where they work (Cefri, ATEX Directives, Caces, etc.). Their technicians are individually accredited to perform the tasks assigned to them.


Can I check my lightning protection systems myself?

Yes, you can, provided you have “Qualifoudre” lightning protection certification. As Actemium is an authorised training organisation in this field, its teams can provide Qualifoudre lightning protection training for those customers who so wish.


Can you handle projects worldwide?

Actemium’s teams are mobile. There is therefore no obstacle preventing them from working on customers’ projects anywhere in the world, whether to perform a lightning risk analysis for a given site, design a system, perform installation work or check existing systems.


Can you provide assistance to companies undergoing an inspection by the relevant safety or environmental authorities?

Actemium’s companies specialising in lightning protection can work alongside with their customers during such inspections. Their teams’ detailed knowledge of the systems installed and their lightning risk expertise means they are ideally placed to answer the inspectors’ questions on behalf of those industrial customers that so wish.