Electrical contractors who get into lightning protection work often leave money on the table by underbidding on a customer-specified job or lose money by incurring preventable mistakes. Follow these tips for a good outcome:
- Reject “the customer is always right” motto. What is right is the lightning protection standard that will be used for the job. If the customer provides specifications, you need to agree with the customer (and their insurer) on which standard(s) apply and then review the specifications accordingly.
- Determine exactly what the customer actually wants. Going for a Master Label truly raises the game, for example. And there will be a huge cost difference between protecting one key building versus a campus of buildings.
- Get input from the customer’s insurer. In many cases, the lightning protection is added to meet insurer requirements. It would be best to have the insurer review and approve the design rather than get involved later in a dispute with the customer after the insurance inspector “fails” the installation.
- Specify and install only materials listed for lightning protection. The conductors, for example, will be very different from those you’d use for power distribution inside the facility. The best way to avoid costly callbacks here is to work with an electrical distributor that has been in lightning protection products for a while.
- Do a walk-through of the site before starting the design, and again before finalizing the design.
Source: Mark Lamendola | Mindconnection