NFPA 780: Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems

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2014 NFPA 780

2014 NFPA 780 Handbook
Prior Years Prior Editions of NFPA 780

The 2014 NFPA 780 responds to industry developments with added coverage of new topics to increase protection against dangerous lightning hazards.

Fully updated to reflect the latest protection methods, devices, and safety challenges, the 2014 NFPA 780: Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems is essential for designers, installers, insurance professionals, AHJs, and anyone responsible for protecting lives and property from fire and related dangers associated with lightning events.

Be prepared to improve safety with vital changes and improved organization, including:

  • Better alignment of requirements for strike termination devices
  • Consolidation of bonding requirements
  • New section addresses the use of fixed metal objects on buildings that have movable or rotating metal components, such as construction cranes, wind socks, observatories/telescopes, traffic cameras, radar dishes, photovoltaic arrays, and opening skylights.
  • New section addresses retroactivity for NFPA 780.
  • New Chapter 11 presents lightning protection criteria and guidance for airfield lighting circuits. Aligned with federal aviation requirements, it provides a thorough look at design and installation of lightning protection systems to afford protection to these open areas.
  • In response to the continuing demand for renewable and alternative energy sources, a new chapter addresses lightning protection systems when solar systems and arrays are provided.
  • The requirements pertaining to catenary systems have been reviewed and significant annex material provided to clarify computations for applications with metal or wood poles.

Make sure your knowledge is up-to-code so you're fully prepared to reduce lightning risks. Trust your jobs to the 2014 NFPA 780. (Softbound, 84 pp., 2014)

NFPA® 780 Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems 2014 Edition

Chapter 1 Administration
1.1 Scope
1.2 Purpose
1.3 Listed, Labeled, or Approved Components
1.4 Retroactivity
1.5 Mechanical Execution of Work
1.6 Maintenance
1.7 Units of Measurement
Chapter 2 Referenced Publications
2.1 General
2.2 NFPA Publications
2.3 Other Publications
2.4 References for Extracts in Mandatory Sections
Chapter 3 Definitions
3.1 General
3.2 NFPA Official Definitions
3.3 General Definitions
Chapter 4 General Requirements
4.1 General
4.2 Materials
4.3 Corrosion Protection
4.4 Mechanical Damage or Displacement
4.5 Use of Aluminum
4.6 Strike Termination Devices
4.7 Strike Termination Devices on Roofs
4.8 Zones of Protection
4.9 Conductors
4.10 Conductor Fasteners
4.11 Masonry Anchors
4.12 Connector Fittings
4.13 Grounding Electrodes
4.14 Common Bonding of Grounded Systems
4.15 Potential Equalization
4.16 Bonding of Metal Bodies
4.17 Metal Antenna Masts and Supports
4.18 Concealed Systems
4.19 Structural Metallic Systems
4.20 Surge Protection
Chapter 5 Protection for Miscellaneous Structures and Special Occupancies
5.1 General
5.2 Masts, Spires, Flagpoles
5.3 Grain-, Coal-, and Coke-Handling and -Processing Structures
5.4 Metal Towers and Tanks
5.5 Air-Inflated Structures
5.6 Concrete Tanks and Silos
5.7 Guyed Structures
5.8 Roof Top Helipads
Chapter 6 Protection for Heavy-Duty Stacks
6.1 General
6.2 Materials
6.3 Strike Termination Devices
6.4 Conductors
6.5 Fasteners
6.6 Splices
6.7 Reinforced Concrete Stacks
6.8 Bonding of Metal Bodies
6.9 Grounding
6.10 Metal Stacks
6.11 Metal Guy Wires and Cables
Chapter 7 Protection for Structures Containing Flammable Vapors, Flammable Gases, or Liquids That Can Give Off Flammable Vapors
7.1 Reduction of Damage
7.2 Fundamental Principles of Protection
7.3 Protective Measures
7.4 Protection of Specific Classes of Structures
Chapter 8 Protection of Structures Housing Explosive Materials
8.1 Application
8.2 General
8.3 Types of Lightning Protection
8.4 Grounding
8.5 Bonding
8.6 Surge Protection
8.7 Protection for Specific Facilities
8.8 Metallic Fences
8.9 Maintenance and Inspection
8.10 Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance
Chapter 9 Protection for Wind Turbines
9.1 General
9.2 Fundamental Principle of Protection
9.3 Protection of Electrical and Mechanical Control Systems
9.4 Grounding
Chapter 10 Protection for Watercraft
10.1 General
10.2 Materials
10.3 Strike Termination
10.4 Conductors
10.5 Grounding
Chapter 11 Protection for Airfield Lighting Circuits
11.1 General
11.2 Application
11.3 Purpose
11.4 Installation of Airfield Lighting Counterpoise System
Chapter 12 Protection for Solar Arrays
12.1 General
12.2 Fundamental Principles of Protection
12.3 Strike Termination Devices
12.4 Protection of Electrical and Mechanical Systems
12.5 Grounding
Annex A Explanatory Material
Annex B Principles of Lightning Protection
Annex C Explanation of Bonding Principles
Annex D Inspection and Maintenance of Lightning Protection Systems
Annex E Ground Measurement Techniques
Annex F Protection for Trees
Annex G Protection for Picnic Grounds, Playgrounds, Ball Parks, and Other Open Places
Annex H Protection for Livestock in Fields
Annex I Protection for Parked Aircraft
Annex J Reserved
Annex K Reserved
Annex L Lightning Risk Assessment
Annex M Guide for Personal Safety from Lightning
Annex N Reserved
Annex O Informational References

Author: Richard Roux

New commentary and a wealth of color visuals make the 2014 NFPA 780 Handbook essential for designers, engineers, and installers.

The lightning protection standard of care has changed. To help you understand the issues affecting system installation and compliance, NFPA 780: Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems Handbook has been updated with the latest requirements plus new expert commentary on more topics -- including electrical issues not covered in the National Electrical Code® (NEC®). Fully illustrated with more than 45 new color photos and graphs, the Handbook helps you apply the expanded provisions correctly.

The NFPA 780 Handbook includes the full text of the Standard, new explanations, and full-color imagery.

  • Gain electronic access to the complete 2014 NFPA 780 text with comprehensive requirements for reducing hazards associated with lightning.
  • Hyperlinked icons take you to commentary that answers questions and helps you avoid oversights. Link directly to explanations written by experts with in-depth knowledge of NFPA 780.
  • Link to exclusive full-color images, tables, figures, and diagrams not in the Standard.
  • Get the big picture with a dedicated Table of Contents for sections with commentary.
  • Find new chapter introductions only in the Handbook.
  • Save time with instant searches and interactive PDF functionality.

The 2014 NFPA 780 Handbook is essential for designers, installers, insurance professionals, and AHJs.

Improve your understanding and ability to mitigate fire risk and related hazards associated with lightning strikes. (PDF, Approx. 164 pp., 2014)

NFPA®'s Redline PDF contains both the current NFPA document and a Redline version of the document which shows changes from the previous edition marked in color. With the Redline you can quickly spot changed sections and tell specifically what has been changed from the previous edition, saving time and confusion.

  • Changed sections are marked with a vertical rule.
  • Deleted material is shown in red strikethrough type.
  • New material appears in blue underscored type.


Sample (NEC® 2014)

411.2411.3 Definition. Low-Voltage Lighting Systems.


(A) General. Lighting Ssystems Ooperating at 30 Volts- volts or  Less. A lighting system consisting less shall consist of an isolating power supply, the low-voltage luminaires, and associated equipment that are all identified for the use. The output circuits of the power supply are shall be rated for not more than 25 amperes and  operate at 30 volts (42.4 volts peak) or lessmaximum under all load conditions.


(B) Class 2. Listed Class 2 lighting equipment shall be rated in conformance with Chapter 9, Table 11(A) or Table 11(B).


411.3411.4 Listing Required. Lighting systems operating at 30 volts or less shall comply with 411.3(A)411.4(A) or 

411.3(B).411.4(B). Class 2 power sources and lighting equipment connected to Class 2 power sources shall be llisted.