In the early hours of the 22 June 2017, the KD Tower in Hemel Hempstead town centre was struck by lightning, with some residents reportedly hearing the strike from as far as a mile away. The towers safety features, including its lightning protection system, which was originally installed by Omega Red all worked and no damage was reported.
Lightning flashes to structures can be hazardous to people, as well as to the structures themselves, their contents and installations. The possible types of damage are injuries to living beings due to step and touch voltage; physical damage (fire, explosion and mechanical destruction) due to lightning current effects; and failure of internal systems due to lightning electromagnetic impulse (LEMP).
The lightning protection system installed on the KD Tower was designed and installed to British standard BS 6651 and successfully mitigated the risk of damage to the building and the systems and people within it. Omega Red will shortly be retesting the equipment, which is routine after a strike.
The photo above was taken by the Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service, Green Watch Hemel and they kindly gave Omega Red permission to use this fantastic image that caught the exact moment that the lightning struck the tower.
Omega Red is a specialist in design,installation, testing and maintenance contractor within the electrical earthing, lightning protection and surge protection market. The business focuses on providing high quality, safety-critical services for the protection of people, equipment, buildings and infrastructure.