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 ~ National Lightning Safety Institute ~

Section 5.1.13

2011 Version of NFPA-780:
A Quick Overview of Changes from Earlier Versions

The 2011 update to NFPA-780, Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems, obsoletes earlier versions. Changes are indicated by a solid black line at the left side of text in this new version.

Some highlights are summarized below:

  • Chapter 4, "Protection for Ordinary Structures," is clarified and has new details on air terminals, bonding, stand-off calculations, grounding, and surge protection.
  • Chapter 8, "Explosives Storage," is 100% re-written. Note to military readers: These details exceed many military codes. Protection methods specified in this chapter may be applied elsewhere by "authorities having jurisdiction" (AHJs).
  • Annex A, "Explanatory Material," is a must-read section. See page 38, Figure A., for an illustration of the Rolling Sphere Method.
  • Annex L, "Risk Management," is a total re-write.
  • Annex M, "Personal Safety," contains much new information. This is the ONLY section where personal safety is discussed/ don’t look for any such information in Chapter 4 or elsewhere.

Thanks to the 780 Technical Committee under John Tobias’ leadership for an excellent result in this new version of the standard.

Note that we teach the 2011 version in our three-day class, Understanding the NFPA-780 Lightning Protection System.

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