Each year thousands of properties are damaged or destroyed by lightning. Lightning accounts for more than one billion dollars annually in structural damage to buildings in the United States. What is not reported is the loss of business, downtime and liability that occurs when businesses or commercial tenants are forced to shut down to repair lightning damage. Insurers now require higher levels of safety for commercial buildings, schools, hospitals, institutions, historic landmarks, sports arenas and other public venues, including the installation of lightning protection systems.

UL’s Inspection Certificate Program

UL has been testing and certifying lightning protection equipment since 1908. UL issues inspection certificates for systems by inspecting system components and checking completed installations. Installations are required to comply with UL’s internationally recognized Standards for lightning protection systems. Manufacturers, suppliers and installers demonstrate their commitment to safety by building, selling and installing only those lightning protection products that pass UL’s rigorous testing.

Specifying systems carrying a UL Certificate prevents loss

Some manufacturers and installers simply independently declare that their lightning protection systems comply with national standards, making it difficult to determine if systems are truly compliant, properly installed or perform as claimed. Purchasing a lightning protection system carrying a UL Lightning Protection Inspection Certificate:

  • Minimizes the risk of significant property damage caused by lightning strikes.
  • Helps protect your investment from liability, downtime and loss of business in the event of lightning damage.
  • Gives you peace of mind that your UL-certificated lightning protection system has been rigorously tested to provide maximum protection for building exteriors and interiors – including electrical and electronic equipment.
  • Demonstrates your commitment to safety to insurers, local inspectors and commercial tenants.
  • Provides you with tools to make informed choices when selecting equipment and an installer.

How the UL Lightning Protection Inspection Certificate Program works:

UL has made the process of obtaining an Inspection Certificate quick and easy. UL field representatives visit your location to check your lightning protection system after it has been installed. Initial inspections can take between one-hour and an entire day, depending on system complexity. UL Lightning Protection Inspection Certifiates are issued within 48 hours of the completion of the inspection or after variances are corrected.

  • After the system has been installed, the UL Listed installer completes and submits the certification application.
  • Your lightning protection system is assigned to a UL field representative who inspects the installation and instantly communicates the results electronically to UL and the installer.
  • If necessary, a letter detailing any variances is issued to the installer. After variances are corrected, the installer resubmits the application for re-inspection. In some instances, system designs and variance corrections can be reviewed electronically.
  • The UL Listed installer forwards the certificate to the premise owner, and posts the certificate on this Web site providing proof that the lightning protection system is in compliance with UL, NFPA, or U.S. government standards.
  • Certificates must be renewed every five years.
  • Contact your installer if the building changes structurally or if modifications have been made to the system during the five-year period that the certificate is in effect. Your installer can repair or modify the system and make arrangements to have it re-evaluated by UL to determine its continued compliance with lightning protection standards. This is required to maintain your certificate!

Additional resources

UL | Lightning protection systems 

UL | Lightning protection systems 

UL | Lightning protection systems