Is a lightning rod worth the trouble?

Dateline article| David Murphy|

If you're fond of your home, the answer is Yes. A lightning rod is a metal stick attached to the highest point on a house or other building and is connected by wire to another pole sunken into the ground at the building's base. The idea is to guide the charge from a lightning strike past the structure and into the ground where it can be discharged harmlessly. Boats also make use of lightning rods, with the lightning bolt directed into the water.

Lightning rods are usually not very easy to spot, but if you ever go looking for them in your neighborhood, keep your eyes peeled for a small aerial (about the size of a car antenna) sticking up from the tops of homes and buildings. Lightning rods may only be a couple of feet in length and often colored black, making them hard to see. Sometimes, more than one lightning rod is used.

---David Murphy

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