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Spires and drones

by
07 August 2015

iStock

From the Revd Christopher Miles

Sir, — After the National Churches Trust’s “Save Our Spires” appeal (News, 24 July), may I suggest that good lightning protection of spires would be a small additional cost, but of significant benefit to their preservation when other repairs are in hand?

Good lightning protection would include two down conductors, good earthing, a bond to the mains electricity’s main earth terminal, and surge protection. A direct lightning strike to a church is a rare event, of the order of once every 100 to 200 years, but can cause fire, with all its devastating consequences.

Because of its additional height, a church with a spire is generally more susceptible to a strike than are other forms of church.

Incidentally, I have recently used the services of a “quadcopter” drone (mentioned in your report) to take aerial photos of the lightning protection of church with a spire, including a very satisfactory vertically downward photo of the air termination on top of the spire.

CHRISTOPHER MILES
Lightning Protection Consultant
Spa Close, Hadlow
Tonbridge TN11 0JX

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