Lightning strikes can have a direct or indirect impact on your business operations. A lightning strike could pose serious operational hazards for your business and employees if you are not adequately prepared with lightning protection systems. It can cause data loss, electronic and server damage, infrastructure damage, employee injury, and other liabilities. Unfortunately, it does not end there. The aforementioned damage could seep into many areas of a business operation and cripple it for an extended time period, resulting in forced downtimes and significant revenue loss.
Here’s how your business and lightning strikes are negatively related.
Damage Electrical Wiring
This is one of the most common consequences of a lightning strike. A lightning strike generates an electrical overload, which can torch conductors and damage their insulation. It can also trigger a strong electrical surge that flows haphazardly through the system, potentially resulting in a short circuit.
Because electrical wiring is designed to absorb only a certain amount of voltage, any surge that exceeds a predetermined voltage limit can cause immediate damage. Following a lightning strike, a business would need to rewire or replace its original electrical wiring.
Wreck Your Electronic Devices
For their daily operations, most businesses today rely on a sophisticated network of electronic systems and devices. These may include automated lighting systems, digital displays, PA systems, security systems, wireless internet, and even cold storage for some logistical businesses. When lightning strikes, the resulting electrical overload in the wiring can affect these electronic systems. The excessive power surge could instantly destroy plugged-in appliances and devices, resulting in significant repair and replacement costs for the affected items.
Trigger a Fire
Lightning could pose a serious fire hazard for businesses. This could be direct or indirect. In the first scenario, lightning could create an expanse of highly charged, heated air, which could spark a fire and set ablaze everything in its surroundings. Another danger is electrical fires or short circuits caused by lightning.
Minor But Uncomfortable Disruptions at Work
Even if a lightning strike does not cause major damage, it can cause minor disruptions that may force you to close your office space until the problems are resolved. A lightning strike, for example, could disrupt your temperature regulation system, resulting in an unpleasant working environment. If it hits your plumbing system, the water supply may be cut off until it is repaired, or it may flood your office, causing water-related damage.
Harm Your Employees
More serious consequences of a lightning strike could include potentially fatal accidents or injuries to multiple employees. Because lightning can cause electrical surges, it can result in faulty wiring, malfunctioning electronic devices, or a fire, leading to indirect injuries and even deaths.
A potential stampede in a panic situation like a fire is another lesser-known but equally real risk. Essentially, any business could be held liable for employee injuries caused by lightning if adequate lightning protection measures are not in place.
If you don’t have preventive and curative measures in place, violent weather disruptions like lightning can be a serious risk to your business. This includes having insurance protection and an expert public insurance adjuster to assist you in obtaining the best coverage for any lightning-related damages.