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4 Ways To Prevent Lightning Damage

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

South Africa is lucky in terms of natural disasters. We don’t get the immense torrential rainstorms of Asian Pacific countries or the tornados that twirl around in North America. We are truly lucky, yes, but we do have one natural risk which is hanging over our heads: lightning.

We experience extreme lightning strikes in our country, especially in the highveld and Kwazulu-Natal regions. Protecting your home, business and assets should certainly be a high priority for most South Africans whenever a storm is brewing. We look at ways to prevent lightning damage and the pros and cons of each.

Unplug Electronics

Among the first things you can do to prevent lightning damage to your assets is to unplug any and all electronics in your home or business. Why? If lightning strikes a building, the electrical surge could burn out almost any electronic equipment.

Not only could the vast amount of kilowatts surge through and destroy the electronic equipment, but it could also potentially start a fire - an electrical surge could set off a spark that may ignite something in its surroundings.


  • Free solution


  • Involves some effort

  • Food in storage could be affected


Get Surge Protection Plugs

Certain plugs have surge protection built into them and could help protect your electronic equipment when lightning strikes. Although not as safe as actually unplugging all of the equipment, surge protection plugs can go some way in helping protect your things. Something to consider when you are next looking for plugs at a store or online.


  • Effortless method


  • Extra cost

  • Not always 100% effective


Install Lightning Rod

If you are looking to protect the actual building from being struck by lightning, you can use Ben Franklin’s principle of grounding and install a lightning rod. It is basically a long pole towering over the building or installed on the roof, the lightning rod becomes the point of contact for the lightning and then distributes the energy into the ground, ensuring it doesn’t strike the building.

If you are looking for lightning rods and struggle to find one nearby, try and use the term "down conductors" which are highly similar in principle to lightning rods.


  • Prevents surges and strikes

  • Stops lightning from reaching the building


  • Could be costly

  • Requires installation


Install TVSS

If money is no object in your pursuit to protect your building and assets from lightning strikes, you could consider installing a Transient Voltage Surge Suppressor (TSVV). This system shuts down all and any electronic equipment connected to the circuit board when a lightning strike or surge is detected.


  • Excellent prevention system

  • Requires minimal input


  • Could be costly

  • Requires installation


Whichever method you end up going with, you should always consider getting building insurance or personal asset insurance to help you carry the financial burden if lightning ever strikes.

Want to get building insurance or a home insurance quote online? Simply complete our online form or call us on 0861 007 367 today and we’ll give you a quote!


Dialdirect is an authorised FSP and Insurer T’s and C’s online