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Lightning protection standards

3,734 lightning strikes in January​

Approximate figure

IEC/BS EN 62305 – Protection against lightning

IEC 63205 is the recognised worldwide standard for lightning protection system (LPS) design, installation and maintenance. BS EN 62305 is the British edition of the European standard, and is derived from the IEC document. Both have the following four complementary parts:
Part 1: General principles

IEC/BS EN 62305-1 provides the general principles for the protection of structures, their people, contents and electrical installations, against the damaging effects of lightning.

Part 2: Risk management

IEC/BS EN 62305-2 provides the procedure for the evaluation of the risk of damage from a lightning related event.

Part 3: Physical damage to structures and life hazard

IEC/BS EN 62305-3 provides the requirements for the protection of a structure against physical damage, by means of a lightning protection system, and for protection against injury to living beings due to touch and step voltages, in the vicinity of an LPS.

Part 4: Electrical and electronic systems within structures

IEC/BS EN 62305-4 provides information for the design, installation and maintenance of surge protection measures (SPM), for electrical and electronic systems within structures, able to reduce the risk of permanent failures due to lightning electromagnetic impulse (LEMP).

Note – It is perfectly acceptable to maintain or assess older lightning protection systems in line with the requirements of the latest standard; in fact, doing so should produce a more suitable solution, as it is more comprehensive in its approach than earlier standards.

BS 6651 – Code of practice for the protection of structures against lightning (withdrawn)

BS 6651 was the British standard prior to the introduction of BS EN 62305. First issued in 1985, it was revised in 1992, 1999 and further amended in 2005; before being withdrawn on 31st August 2008.

Other standards relating and making reference to lightning protection include the following:

  • BS 7430 Code of practice for protective earthing of electrical installations
  • BS 7671 Requirements for Electrical Installations
  • BS EN 62561 series (Lightning protection system components (LPSC))
  • Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Competent Authority – Inspection of Electrical, Control and Instrumentation Systems at COMAH Establishments (Operational Delivery Guide)
  • HSE Operational Guidance (OG) Layout – Appendix 1: Process for the management of ignition by lightning
  • IEC/BS EN 61643 series (conformity requirements for surge protection devices)
  • JSP 482 MOD Explosives Regulations – Chapter 8
  • NFPA 780 Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems
  • UL 96A Standard for Installation Requirements for Lightning Protection Systems
  • UL 467 Grounding and Bonding Equipment