LPS : an overview
- Equipment to protect people and property
Lightning is a dangerous natural phenomenon that can affect anyone of us in our daily activity. In France alone, there are two million strikes a year on average, and it is responsible for several dozen deaths, around 20,000 fires and extensive damage to electrical and electronic equipment.
Lightning protection systems are the only way to protect people and property against the direct and indirect effects of lightning strikes on sites, buildings, plant and equipment. All types of structures are potentially at risk of lightning strike; one in four industrial facilities are affected at least once a year.
In many countries, regulations make it mandatory to install lightning protection on industrial buildings. Sites presenting an environmental risk are deemed the immediate priority. Again in France, this refers to more than 2,000 “facilities classified for environmental protection”.
Actemium and its TelComTec engineering department, a reference in this field, deliver lightning protection solutions covering all major safety, risk management and company productivity issues.
From simple consulting to checking existing lightning protection equipment, as well as engineering and installation services, Actemium is able to provide a solution for every industrial lightning protection requirement.
Any alteration, however minor, to an industrial building necessarily requires checking the existing lightning protection systems and bringing them into compliance. Additionally, each industrial site’s hazard study must systematically be reviewed and updated every five years.
Actemium helps its customers manage all regulatory documents for the lightning protection systems installed to cover all their activity. This way, they are guaranteed of being able to immediately provide the relevant official environmental authorities with current compliance documentation. This outsourced service is designed to be totally secure (electronic safe) and to be adapted to the customer’s needs.
Actemium is authorised to provide training enabling its customers and partners to acquire France’s “Qualifoudre exploitant” (lightning system operator) qualification. This individual certification allows customers to perform periodic simplified and post-storm checks of their own lightning protection systems. Full periodic inspections must still be carried out by a provider with “Qualifoudre inspection” certification.
Actemium specialises in the installation of all categories of lightning protection systems. Its business units operate fully independently of the various manufacturers. While industrial companies are Actemium’s prime market, its employees are nonetheless able to install systems for virtually any sort of structure, including civil engineering structures, historic monuments, ocean liners, photovoltaic and wind farms and oil platforms.
Actemium’s teams have recognised expertise in all areas of lightning protection: system design and external and internal installations. Over the years, they have installed more than 500 complete systems for customers in all industrial sectors. These systems systematically deliver value added for the customer and employ the latest technology, at times even virtually unique on the market (thunderstorm detection and forecasting systems, electronic archival of regulatory documents, ICPE nomenclature updates, hazard studies and lightning impact calculations).
Each site requiring the installation of lightning protection is unique. Actemium provides services and solutions tailored to each specific case. In order to define the right level of protection needed, our teams will first perform a lightning risk assessment (LRA). This is followed by a technical study and the creation of the relevant specifications. The protection (direct and indirect effects) and/or prevention systems defined take into account the relevant building’s structure and its structural ability to withstand lightning strikes and to convey the electrical charge to the ground. Once these studies have been completed and the system installed, Actemium’s teams can then perform the initial and periodic regulatory checks.
Actemium’s teams are increasingly involved in the preparatory phase of new-build construction projects. Their detailed knowledge of lightning risks means they are well placed to provide advice, in the design phase, on how best to integrate protection systems during the works, for example, in a concrete structure’s steel reinforcements.
From engineering to checking customers’ installed equipment, Actemium is positioned as a turnkey service provider able to assist customers and provide solutions to all their lightning protection needs. Actemium’s teams can work with industrial companies anywhere in the world. They can also respond to any specific needs as they arise, such as providing expert opinions to insurance brokers or administrative services.
The risk of lightning strike is both universal and unpredictable, so the need to install lightning protection systems concerns all industrial sectors. Actemium currently has 16 “Qualifoudre” certified business units which together have over 300 employees specialised in lightning systems. As they work in a network, they are able to provide local service while keying into resources that will deliver the best possible solution to the customer’s lightning protection needs.