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#7728 - 09/02/10 09:38 AM Lightning Protection Licensing and Permitting
Bryan Holland Offline
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Registered: 10/05/04
Posts: 1678
Loc: SE - United States
Hello Everyone,

I have a couple questions regarding the installation, permitting, and licensing of Lightning Protection Systems.

F.S. 489.503(22) specifically exempts, “Any person who installs or repairs lightning rods or related systems” from ECLB regulations. However, lightning protection systems are required for three occupancy types per the FBC (419.3.19, 420.3.26, and 423.17.7) and the NFPA 780 – Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems is directly referenced in Chapter 35. While not required for other occupancy types, complete and partial LPS systems are frequently installed on new and existing structures.

So:

1. Do LPS installations as required (or not) by the FBC require a permit? If so, what licensing if any does the installer of the system need to have?

2. LPS’s installed per the NFPA 780 include provisions for Surge Protection Devices. The installation of these devices is regulated by the NEC in Article 285. In many instances, the installation of these devices involves the premise wiring system such as service equipment, panelboards, and associated wiring. In this case, must the installer be licensed under the ECLB and would a permit be required.

3. Other sections of the NEC such as 250.106 require the grounding terminals of a LPS to be bonded to the grounding electrode system of the building or structure involved. Can this work be performed by the ECLB exempt LPS installer or does the scope of that work fall under ECLB regulations?

So I guess the ultimate question is how your individual jurisdictions have and are handling LPS installations and installer licensing and permitting requirements.

I greatly appreciate your response.

Have a great day and take care,
_________________________
Bryan P. Holland, MCP

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#7729 - 09/02/10 10:51 AM Re: Lightning Protection Licensing and Permitting [Re: Bryan Holland]
psnorthrup Offline
Mechanic Member

Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 115
Loc: Plant City
Odd that this should come up now, I just had this come up Yesterday, Still don't know what to do with it, I think Palm Beach, Dade, and Broward Counties have some written regulations, I did a lot of searching on the internet yesterday, couldn't find any licensing requirements in the Florida Statutes.

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#7730 - 09/02/10 01:52 PM Re: Lightning Protection Licensing and Permitting [Re: Bryan Holland]
gfretwell
Unregistered


I guess, if you are using licensing as a performance standard and not just a way to restrain trade and increase government revenue, we have to ask, what are the education requirements of a person who installs an LPS? Does the board have approved courses in this field? Which licensees have them in their required suite of CEUs?

I agree this is not something you want to trust to a trunk slammer but I am not sure Florida has actually addressed it. Considering where we live, that does seem strange.
You would think an unlimited EC license would apply but most ECs have no particular training in lightning or surge protection. It is actually more art than science anyway with engineers who can not agree on what is going on in an event.

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#7731 - 09/03/10 03:30 PM Re: Lightning Protection Licensing and Permitting [Re: Bryan Holland]
Bryan Holland Offline
Needs-A-Hobby Member
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Registered: 10/05/04
Posts: 1678
Loc: SE - United States
I just find it weird that the the ECLB has come down really hard on limited energy installers as of late yet lightning protection is considered a non-regulated industry...

Based on the current statutes and published state rules, the local building department can require a permit and licensed ECLB contractor for a wireless burglar alarm system installed in a dwelling or even speaker wiring to a home entertainment system yet a FBC mandated lightning protection system on a 4 story hosiptal woul be exempt of any permitting or licensing requlations.

Seems backwards to me...
_________________________
Bryan P. Holland, MCP

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#7732 - 09/03/10 06:44 PM Re: Lightning Protection Licensing and Permitting [Re: Bryan Holland]
Neal Burdick Offline
Mechanic Member
*****

Registered: 02/14/08
Posts: 142
Loc: Tampa, Florida
Bryan,
I am almost positive that we do not permit, review, or inspect LPS.
We also do not permit, review, or inspect low voltage systems.
The only inspection performed on a Fire Alarm system is by our Fire inspectors.

Neal Burdick
COT Construction Inspector II

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#7733 - 09/03/10 08:05 PM Re: Lightning Protection Licensing and Permitting [Re: Bryan Holland]
gfretwell
Unregistered


I do believe that before we start licensing and permitting we should actually establish the standards. What would you inspect for?

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#7734 - 09/03/10 10:19 PM Re: Lightning Protection Licensing and Permitting [Re: ]
Bryan Holland Offline
Needs-A-Hobby Member
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Registered: 10/05/04
Posts: 1678
Loc: SE - United States
Originally Posted By: gfretwell
I do believe that before we start licensing and permitting we should actually establish the standards. What would you inspect for?


Well, according to the F.A.C:

Quote:
61G15-33.007 Design of Lightning Protection Systems.
(1) Lightning Protection Systems are passive systems used to protect building and structures from damage caused by lightning and static discharges. Items to be considered in the design or analysis of this system include the requirements of NFPA-780.
(2) Electrical Engineering documents for lightning protection systems shall indicate:
(a) Lightning Risk Assessment.
(b) Air terminals height and spacing.
(c) Corrosion protection measures.
(d) Arrangement of Main and Down conductors.
(e) Grounding points and spacing.
(f) Conductor type and size.
(g) Legend.
(h) Testing requirements of grounds.


So, during the plan reivew I would ensure the rule above has been met in the design. I would also check to see if the applicable provisions of the NFPA 780 have been met.

On inspection, I would check to see if the installation meets the approved engineered plans. I would then make sure the thrid party testing label has been applied (UL Master Label.)



_________________________
Bryan P. Holland, MCP

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#7735 - 09/04/10 01:10 AM Re: Lightning Protection Licensing and Permitting [Re: Bryan Holland]
Nick Sasso Offline

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Registered: 11/08/01
Posts: 1562
Loc: West Palm Beach
As Bryan pointed out, lightning protection is already in the Florida Building Code.

Without my involvement in this topic of "licensing," I think I can safely say that the building official is RESPONSIBLE for the enforcement of all sections of the Florida Building Code.

"We didn't figure out how to enforce it yet..." is not a good excuse, in my opinion.



Edited by Nick Sasso (09/04/10 01:19 AM)
_________________________

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#7736 - 09/04/10 01:14 AM Re: Lightning Protection Licensing and Permitting [Re: Bryan Holland]
gfretwell
Unregistered


Quote:
On inspection, I would check to see if the installation meets the approved engineered plans. I would then make sure the third party testing label has been applied (UL Master Label.)


Now we have taken something that didn't even require a permit and escalated it to a listed system, ground rod testing and "stamped plans"? wink


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#7737 - 09/04/10 01:23 AM Re: Lightning Protection Licensing and Permitting [Re: Bryan Holland]
Nick Sasso Offline

Needs-A-Hobby Member
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Registered: 11/08/01
Posts: 1562
Loc: West Palm Beach
No,

Bryan has already pointed out that it is required per FBC. Here are a few sections, by no means all-encompassing:

419.3.19 Lightning protection. A lightning protection system shall be provided for all new buildings and additions in accordance with NFPA 780, Installation of Lightning Protection Systems.

419.3.19.1 Where additions are constructed to existing buildings, the existing building's lightning protection system, if connected to the new lightning protection system, shall be inspected and brought into compliance with current standards.

419.3.19.2 A lightning protection system shall be installed on all buildings in which outpatient surgical procedures are provided.

419.3.19.3 There shall be surge protection for all normal and emergency electrical services.

419.3.19.4 Additional surge protection shall be provided for all low voltage and power connections to all electronic equipment in critical care areas and life safety systems and equipment such as fire alarm, nurse call and other critical systems. Protection shall be in accordance with appropriate IEEE Standards for the type of equipment protected.

419.3.19.5 All low-voltage system main or branch circuits entering or exiting the structure shall have surge suppressors installed for each pair of conductors and shall have visual indication for protector failure to the maximum extent feasible.

423.17.7 Lightning. All facilities in high lightning risk areas shall be evaluated using the Risk Assessment Guide in NFPA 780 and other standards which address lightning protection, and shall be protected accordingly.

Hospitals and private schools most definitely require a permit and inspections. The building official is responsible to see that the Florida Building Code is enforced.

_________________________

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