Certified Woman Owned Lightning Protection Business CT License # HIC.0638898
Why did you want to adopt cats for the office?
To keep me company. When we first began, I was the only one in the office. It was too quiet and I wanted company. After the first cat, I realised how much my employees enjoyed having a pseudo pet, so we got another.
Where did you get them?
Joules and Eddie are both rescues from a shelter in Bloomfield, where our office is located.
How’d you come up with the names?
They’re plays on electrical terminology. Joules is a unit of energy. Eddie’s full name is Eddison, named after Thomas Edison.
Do you have any other pets?
I do! I have another cat named Frank who lives with me and my husband in Waterford. We’ve had him going on seven years.
Have you always been an animal person?
Yeah, we’ve had a lot of pets in our house. There were hedgehogs named Luke and Leia, geckos named Beanie and Cecil, a hamster named Ratboy after an X-Files character, and another named Randall after Justin Randall Timberlake. The fish were named after the characters in The Little Mermaid. My daughter’s guinea pig Pickles came pregnant with Buttercup. And there’s always a cat.
How did ACME get its name?
It means pinnacle or summit. Once I’d picked that, we had no choice but to use the Roadrunner logo. Of course.
Where do you live now?
I live in Waterford.
That’s a long car ride. What do you listen to during your commute?
I listen to the news in the morning. In the afternoon, I listen to audiobooks or catch up with my family on the phone.
What do you like to do on the weekends?
I like to sit outside when it’s warm. I like to read. My husband and I ride bikes, go on motorcycle rides, antiquing, and the odd car show.
What are you reading right now?
I just finished the Philippa Gregory books about the Tudors.
What have you been watching?
My husband and I just caught up on Victoria so we started Belgravia. And we watch Outlander every week. We enjoyed Fleabag. The Tiger King was like a car wreck, you can’t help but look at it even though you know you probably shouldn’t.
Gone with the Wind.
French toast with fruit and whipped cream.
Favorite place to travel?
Favorite 90s sitcom?
Favorite movie soundtrack?
The Big Chill.
Favorite ice cream flavor?
Favorite boy band?
I am too old for boy bands.
Do lightning rods attract lightning?
No, Lightning rods neither attract nor repel lightning. A lightning bolt is a random discharge of electricity aimed for the ground, anything else is just an obstacle in the way. Lightning rods provide a path of least resistance for lightning to detour around an object and into the ground.
Do trees protect homes during a storm?
No, trees do not provide protection from lightning. In fact, very often they redirect lightning towards a home or structure causing a ‘side flash’, which causes structural damage as well as power surges in the structures wiring.
Our home is grounded, does that protect us?
No, a home is grounded to provide protection for electrocution. To reach the grounded path, the lightning would need to penetrate the structure causing severe damage.
Are lightning surge suppressors and voltage spike protectors adequate protection?
Alone, these devices do not protect the outside of a building from lightning, The only way they are effective is when apart of a complete lightning protection system.
Am I safe if my home is in a low lying area?
No, lightning strikes are aimed for ground anywhere, no matter where you are located there is risk of lightning striking your home or structure.
Do lightning rods look unsightly?
Definitely not, an experienced lightning protection designer and installer can tailor the system to blend in with its surroundings. Furthermore, if in the early stages of construction the down conductor for the system can even be concealed inside the walls of a new building.
Photo by Josep Castells
The lightning rod was invented in 1749 by Benjamin Franklin as part of his investigations into the nature of lightning and electricity. He speculated that if a large iron pole with a sharpened tip were placed higher than other conductors in the area, it would attract the energy and harmlessly conduct it to the ground. Franklin’s invention is still widely used, protecting many buildings and structures from lightning damage.
Lightning rods use highly conductive metals that carry electrical current better than surrounding objects such as buildings or trees. Although wood and other materials will conduct electricity if the charge is great enough, lightning will take the easiest path to the ground, channeling through trees, buildings, or people. Materials such as plastic and glass will not conduct electricity until the atmospheric charges is extremely high, so they do not divert currently efficiently
How They Work
When electrical charges build up in the atmosphere, they eventually need a path through which to discharge; many times lightning will strike tall objects with destructive results. A lightning rod intercepts the electrical charge that occurs just before a lightning strike, channeling it safely to the ground. To be most effective, the metal rod should be situated high enough so that electrical charges from the atmosphere will have better chance of passing through it instead of objects or people. If the electrical charge is allowed to build up substantially, it will eventually discharge through whatever object is nearest.
Up or Down?
Although lightning sometimes appears to strike in a downward direction, the phenomenon occurs as multiple rapid discharges, beginning with invisible one from the clouds to the ground, followed by return upward strikes to the clouds that are visible. A lightning strike makes several round trips from the clouds to the ground and back again in a fraction of a second.
Path to Ground
By itself, a lightning rod will not prevent or divert lighting strikes; to be effective, it needs a direct and substantial electrical connection to the ground with a conductor. A heavy-gauge metal wire, connected to the lightning rod and the ground carries the electrical charge away from the rod. The ground, being electrically neutral, safely absorbs excess charges, minimizing or eliminating lightning damage.
Can I install lightning protection myself?
It is ill advised to attempt installing lightning protection yourself. Knowledge of how lightning behaves once it has entered the system and how the components are installed and connected together to make a safe and secure system is extremely important and should be done by professionals.
Are lightning rods expensive?
No, typically a system is less than 1% of the total cost of the home, and much less than the cost of repair or replacement due to damage from a lightning strike.
photo by Lee Junda
1. Lightning is an electrical discharge caused by imbalances between storm clouds and the ground.
2. Lightning can occur during any time of the year, but lightning casualties are highest during summer. July is generally the month with the most lightning.
3. The rapid expansion of heated air from lightning strikes causes the thunder. Since light travels faster than sound, the thunder is heard after the lightning.
4. It is estimated globally that around 2,000 lightning storms are active at one time. This means that, on average, more than 100 strikes are happening per second.
5. Costs for lightning protection systems generally come in at less than 1% the value of a structure, depending upon size, location, roof type, construction, and grounding conditions. When considering repair and replacement, lightning protection systems provide insurance and peace of mind to safeguard structures, occupants, and equipment.
Photo by Johannes Plenio