The Role of the Lightning Rod to Avert Damage


The Role of the Lightning Rod to Avert Damage

Electricity becomes known for commercial usage around the end of the 19th century. This has led to revolutionary measures for life. (To operate it electrical systems are made. Electrical estimating services can be availed to make them in building structures). This electricity is generated through conversion from some other form of energy. But electricity in the sky has been around since Earth has had the sky. This electricity (also called lightning) has always been a crisis for everyone on Earth. Throughout time, man has tried to find ways to avert it and its effects. Thus, the invention of the lightning rod has come into being. This has saved building structures from all sorts of damage like a marvel.

This article will discuss lightning or sky electricity, the damage it can cause, and how lightning rod cancels the dangerous effect. 

Sky Electricity or Lightning

What is all electricity no matter man-generated or naturally-born? It is much of the charges that flow through some conducting medium. While in the man-generated these charges are generated through a magnet that pushes and pulls charges, naturally-born electricity is generated through friction. The clouds get rubbed against each other and this is how charges are born. This is sky electricity or lightning.

Next, these charges want a medium to pass into and become neutral. This is where the charges tend towards the earth and fall over something on earth.

The Damage Effect of Lightning

Let us go again, what is electricity or lightning? It is a bunch of charges looking for a passage to flow. These charges but nothing but stored energy. This energy comes from the process of ionization where neutral substances break and generate charge. Also, there comes energy when charges move into a substance and make it neutral by combing with its opposite counterpart. 

The first step happens in the sky when lightning is produced, while the second one happens on the land. In the second step, it releases energy on contact. 

This energy is variable every time it falls and thus cannot be contained. Energy storage requires the voltage to be in the set range. This is almost impossible in the case of lightning.

Therefore, as lightning falls and releases energy, it devastates the thing it falls over. It results in these common dangerous outcomes:

  • Fire is the most common outcome for contact point
  • If it falls on anything alive, it certainly means death
  • Structures can break apart on instant contact

Lightning Rod

To avoid damage from lightning, man has developed a device called a lightning rod or a lightning conductor. This is simply a rod installed over the building to attract the charges before it hits the building itself and redirects it through a guided passage all the way to the earth.

The whole apparatus is composed of a metallic pole (conductor) installed on the top of the building and an insulated wire that reaches the earth (grounded). Often this apparatus is installed over the tallest building in the town because lightning naturally looks for the closest conductor.

How Does It Avert the Damage?

The charges in the sky electricity need to reach earth as soon as possible to neutralize them. But as anything come in between get fried. But this happens if that something is not a conductor. The resistance in that object causes fires and other damage. But if the charges are provided the passage of conductor damage is averted. This works as:

  • The charges look for the closest conductor. This way the pole takes over the earth as the target and the lightning falls on the pole
  • Next, the pole is connected to a wire. This wire is again a conductor and provides a guided passage. This passage skips the building and saves it from damage
  • Lastly, the passage extends to earth (grounded). This is the way lightning passes down without any damage

Still, the threat lies if the apparatus itself is damaged.


Unlike the electricity in usage in houses, offices, schools, and other parts of life, sky electricity has been around since the beginning and is found in the cloud. It is very dangerous for all the things on earth due to its need to neutralize itself. The electricity we utilize needs electrical systems, while sky electricity or lightning needs a lightning rod (electrical takeoffs are a great help to build it). The lightning rod is an amazing invention to avert all the possible danger lightning holds. It is composed of a pole over the tallest building in the town with a grounded wire connected to it. This apparatus provides a guided path for the charges to flow into the earth and keep everything else safe.

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