top of page
Lightning Awareness and Protection

Lightning hazards are ubiquitous regardless of the status of any nation. However, availing the existing scientific knowledge of Lightning Protection System (LPS), developed nations have significantly mitigated the loss of lives and property whereas, the scenario in the developing countries is different.


Lightning safety is a vital subject in India. Annually more than 1500 people get killed due to lightning, in addition to failure of electrical system and fire in few cases. In order to reduce the loss of human lives and property damage, LPS is installed in a structure. LPS if properly installed on a structure can provide protection for people and its contents.


Indian Standards (IS/IEC 62305 & NBC-2016): The Indian standard and the national building code of India set the benchmark for Lightning protection in structures. The NBC disapproves the usage of nonstandard LPS such as ESE/CSE/dissipation system etc. However large number of nonstandard LPS suppliers challenge the recommendation of NBC, claiming that the nonstandard systems are modern, advanced, simple and effective.

Nonstandard LPS and the dangers of nonscientific mass education:


Nonstandard and nonscientific LPS systems are being promoted across India claiming that one air terminal protects up to a radius of 110 meters. However, the promotional videos circulated in the social media claim that one lightning arrester protects up to 1.4 Sq.KM. Some of the non-scientific principles that have been educated in India are:

  • High frequency sound in lightning (1 to 30 MHZ);

  • Lateral strikes and its effects and the methods to limit it;

  • Rural lightning, urban lightning, semi urban lightning, coastal lightning;

  • Plant tall trees around houses to dissipate lightning;

  • ESE devices absorb sound, light and charge;

  • Low-cost lightning protection with cycle rim fixed on a wooden pole and an alternate metal pole for protection of people outside buildings;

  • Usage of COWDUNG in earthing to reduce earth pit resistance.

  • Complete cities and villages are protected in some states in India


Evidently, such mass educations may prove to be hazardous rather than mitigating the risk. Nonstandard LPS and the dangers of nonscientific mass education are going to create serious long-term effects in the country.


  • Non- scientific LP systems, as explained in mass education, are likely to invite disaster instead of mitigating.

  • Awareness classes conducted across India on non-scientific methods, in the name of low cost system, and principle are teaching untruths, misconceptions and challenge the scientific knowledge and facts in the modern education system.

Mass awareness programs on the correct usage of available technology and information

LARC organised webinar on non standard LPS and non scientific education in India on 18 July 2021 and discussed

  • An overview of standard and non-standard Lightning Protection System.

  • How ESE systems are explained / installed in India, mass education of nonscientific methods.

  • What is ESE and an analysis of claims.

  • Why ESE is not included in IEC / IEEE, and the reasons behind the rejection of ESE by the scientific community.

  • An overview of LPS installed in cyclone shelters.

  • Protection of people outside “substantial buildings” and the development of low cost LPS.

  • Importance of understanding and following Indian Standards IS/IEC 62305 and National Building Code.

Non standard LPS are being used to protect centuries old temples and monuments in India

Madurai Meenakshi Temple. Non standard LPS installed during Nov 2011, Lightning damaged on 13 Dec 2013

  1. Lightning conductors being installed at Meenakshi temple - The Hindu 17 acres protected by 5 ESE rods 15 November 2011

  2. Madurai Meenakshi temple's tower damaged by lightning | Deccan Herald Madurai Meenakshi temple's tower damaged by lightning Read more at: 13 December 2013

12th-century Jagannath temple complex in Puri, one of the most famous religious complexes in the world

  1. Jagannath temple complex the 12th-century monument protected by ABB's OPR lightning protection systems on 11 temples in the state of Odisha ABB helps India’s heritage monuments withstand the forces of nature Article | Zurich, Switzerland | 2017-08-24

  2. 01 August 2021 Jagannath temple complex Temple bears lightning brunt - Telegraph India  Bhubaneswar, Aug. 1: Jameshwar Temple suffered extensive damage from a lightning strike on Saturday. A deep crack has developed on the 11th century temple's wall and a chunk of its ornate exterior is hanging precariously. Lightning has also burnt the flag of the venerable Anant Vasudev temple in the city.

bottom of page