Lightning Costs

Lightning Impacts to Your Business 

The National Lightning Safety Institute has reported that US lightning costs and losses may exceed $8-$10 billion per year. The following data has been compiled by the National Lightning Safety Institute.  Further information can be viewed through their website www.lightning   

  • Lightning is responsible for more than $5 billion in total insurance industry losses annually,            according to Hartford Ins. Group.
  • On annual average, Factory Mutual Insurance Companies pay out about 3-4% of claims as a result of lightning.  Factory Mutual Companies.
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Storage and Processing Facilities
  • Looking specifically at storage and processing activities lightning accounts for 61% of the accidents initiated by natural events. In North America 16 out of 20 accidents involving petroleum product storage tanks were due to lightning strikes.  Journal of Hazardous Materials 40 (1995) 43-54
  • In a study of 242 accidents to industrial storage tanks over 40 years, 74% occurred in petrochemical facilities.  80 accidents (33%) had been caused by lightning.  Jrnl of Loss Prevntn in Process Ind., 01/06
  • Thirty percent of US businesses suffer damage from lightning storms. Carnegie Mellon Report, 02/06
  • Nearly thirty percent of all utility power outages are lightning-related, on annual average, with total costs approaching one billion dollarsRalph Bernstein, EPRI ; Diels, et al. 
  • Utility company nuclear power plant digital and I&C equipment safety feature activations were initiated by lightning in 19% of the cases.  US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NUREG/CR-6579.
  • High Speed Rail Network, Wenzhou China, 27 July 2011. Signal switching equipment failed due to lightning strike. 40 killed, 192 injured. New York Times 27/07/2011
  • Positive Train Control or PTC, is being initiated in the US, to safeguard rail transportation due to signaling, wayside and communication networks susceptibility to lightning.
Downstream Costs Due to Lightning/Fire/Explosion. Willis Energy Market Review, 12/13.
  •  USA : Texas Refinery $95,000,000; Louisiana Refinery $104,000,000.
  •  Non-USA: Rhineland-Palatinate Petroleum $68,800,000; Alberta Oil Sands $1,070,000,000; Singapore Refinery $153,000,000.
  • South African South Deep JV mine lost 1 month production due to lightning & flooding (2005).
  • Porgera JV mine in Papua New Guinea in 2006 reported a severe lightning strike shutting down 50% of electrical power for more than 3 months at a production loss of $750,000/day.
  • A Tennessee smelter pot line  is “frozen” by a lightning-induced electrical outage. 164 pots have to be dug out by hand. Production is shut down for 7 weeks (2007).
  • Twelve miners killed by lightning-caused methane gas explosion. (West Virginia, 2005)
 Global Warming Impact
  • It is estimated that lightning strikes will at least, double or triple due to Global Warming. Dr. Martin Uman, Univ. Florida Lightning Research Center, from New York Times 9/9/01.
  • Chinese scientists have warned that global warming is likely to intensify extreme weather patterns, and severe storms in recent years may be a prelude to this.  China Meteorological Administration, 07/07
  • Each degree of global temperature increase results in 10%-20% higher incidence of lightning. Osmar Pinto Junior, ELAT, National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Brazil, 12/02/10.
For further information on how to protect your network from lightning transients, please contact us directly at +1 208.772.8515 or through completing an online technical service form.  We look forward to working with you.