Cook County House Fire Reminds Residential and Commercial Property Owners to “Double Check”

HLP Systems today announced its participation in The Lightning Protection Institute Inspection Program’s national lightning safety initiative, “Double Check.” Check 1. Have a lightning protection system. Check 2. Have the system inspected and certified. The Double Check Initiative launches ahead of National Lightning Safety Awareness Week, taking place June 23– 29.

A lightning-caused house fire in suburban Brookfield was just the latest reminder of lightning’s destructive and costly power. Commercial properties, in particular skyscrapers, are just as at risk for lightning damage as residential homes. Even with widespread acceptance of lightning protection systems as a necessary life safety application in commercial building, downtown Chicago property owners are still encouraged to check both boxes. 

 “A new class of high-profile skyscrapers—including six residential towers among the city’s 13 tallest buildings—will redefine Chicago’s skyline by 2023,” said HLP Systems President Jeffrey Harger. “Now is the perfect time to reemphasize the importance of professionally designed, installed and inspected lightning protection systems.”

Building has become almost entirely dependent on “smart” and traditional technology to power structures and the work of their occupants. Insulating those systems from catastrophic interruption is vital. “Architects and engineers increasingly demand robust lightning protection systems to protect the function and complexity of the structures they design and build,” Harger said. “And rightly so. As building becomes more dependent on smart technology, insulating data and technology systems from catastrophic interruption is as critical as the systems themselves.”

Illinois ranks eighth in the country for the most lightning strikes, and second in the Midwest, behind Missouri. Chicago’s tallest buildings, including Willis Tower, Trump Tower and the John Hancock Center, are hit by lightning between 50 and 100 times each year.