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About Lightning Protection Testing & Inspection

The BS EN 62305-3:2011 is set out in 4 categories. 1. General Principles

2. Risk Management

3. Physical damage to structures and life hazard

4. Electrical and electronic systems within structures

BS EN 62305-3:2011 replaced BS 6651 in 2008. BS 6651 recommended the inspection & testing of Lightning Protection systems annually. BS EN 62305-3:2011 categories visual inspection, complete inspection and critical situations complete inspection dependent on the appropriate Lightning Protection level. 'Critical Situations' establishes clear inspection requirements where sensitive internal systems are present such as office blocks, or where there might be a higher risk due to the number of people present.

All Lightning Protection systems should be inspected:

  • During the installation of the Lightning Protection System, paying particular attention those components which will ultimately become concealed within the structure and unlikely to be accessible for further inspection.
  • After the Lightning Protection installation has been completed.
  • On a regular basis as per the guidelines set out in BS EN 62305:2011

These guidelines are covered by the Electricity At Work Regulations 1989 and the current practice would be to inspect annually, preferably every 11 months to allow for the system to be inspected throughout every season of the year over a period of 11 years. Where the structure has a risk of explosion, the Lightning Protection should be visually inspected every 6 months.

Earth Electrode Testing

Earth electrode testing requires expertise and experience and should be carried out by a qualified and experienced engineer.

There are two general methods of testing Lightning Protection earthing;

'Dead Earth' testing and 'Fall of Potential' testing. 'Fall of Potential' testing is more accurate, however this form of testing is not always practical in places such as town and city centres therefore 'Dead Earth' testing is widely adopted.

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