Just like water, lightning is a force of nature that can not be stopped; it can just only be diverted. Knowing this, it should be given a path to the bottom and diverted to where it can safely discharge. More than ever before, that is vitally important since homes today typically contain expensive electronic items that may be "fried" in an instant from an electrical surge caused by lightning. By giving a path of least resistance, such powerful energy can pass into the bottom and never reach sensitive electronics and other easily damaged items.

Rods
Historically, lightning rods have been applied to homes, barns and other structures where strikes is actually a danger. It was basically thought that rods kept lightning away; what was actually happening was electrical current was getting a rod and having its grounding as a direct path to the bottom rather than striking the building itself. Although these rods do definitely not attract lightning, they do stand tall in the air so any electrical charge will go on to them and locate a path to the ground.

Modern Systems
While rods are still being used on many older buildings, there are more sophisticated lightning protection systems available. Modern systems are basically the same idea, just a tad bit more complex and a lot more thorough. The fee is significantly more than rods, depending on the size of the property; however, it is money well spent as one lightning bolt strike might lead to a lot more injury to an unprotected home than the fee to guard a structure for life.

These modern systems are basically composed of some small copper and aluminum spikes called air terminals which are mounted along the best points of a house, usually at the the surface of the roof, chimney and high points on dormers. One house can have as much as ten or maybe more, based on its size and shape.

Air terminals are wired with cables to one another which are then mounted with metal connectors along the roof and sides of the building, going straight down until being grounded to something metal. Generally, that is either grounding rods for the machine or perhaps a metal Lightning protection system supplier pipe that enters the bottom; usually multiple locations are grounded. The point is to provide numerous routes for electricity to obtain the shortest path to the bottom so the current will completely bypasses everything else.
These systems also provide surge arresters that mount close to an electrical panel to keep a surge from entering it and blowing the panel in addition to potentially entering the building causing surges through all electric apparatus.

Following really are a few strategies for the installing a method:
Entire Structure - Only safeguarding part of a structure by not being completely thorough will not offer a lot of safety.

UL-Rated System - Use a UL, LPI and NFPA rated system that is installed according to the guidelines organized by these agencies.
Inspections - Lightning protection systems must certanly be inspected periodically to check for cables and terminals that could be damaged or disconnected that ought to be repaired or replaced.

Replace Surge Arresters - Periodically replace arresters regardless how they appear.
Reconnection - When having roofing work done, be certain contractors are aware of a protection system and are legally in charge of reconnecting it once work is done. Sometimes that is forgotten and homes that have been regarded as safeguarded were not. At the least in the case this happens, the roofing company will be responsible.

Surge Protectors - Though probably not very efficient against powerful surges, use high quality surge protectors on expensive electronics as it could be sufficient to keep a trickle of energy from zapping a computer or television.