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DSTV Satellite dishes and Lightning

Lightning strikes in South Africa do not only occur during rain storms but can occur before rain and up to 16km radius. It occurs with every thunderstorm and they are far more common than we realise. As majestic as they are, they can also be hugely destructive to DSTV satellite dishes, electric cables and the general safety of the home or business.

Lightning can strike in the same place twice, and are not predictable. How does lightning occur: Lightning happens when there is a build-up of electricity between positive and negative ions in the atmosphere and clouds. Lightning can travel between clouds and between clouds and the ground.The dangerous strikes are those between the clouds and the ground.

Safety during lightning strikes:

Stay away from water Do not take cover under lone or tall trees. Avoid hilltops or standalone areas. Do not use electrical appliances, telephones, any metal objects. Do not climb on a ladder, especially metal ones, or use any kind of swimming pool cleaning poles. Stay away from power lines, electric fences Do not bath or shower during a lightning storm as water conducts electricity.

How do lightning strikes affect DSTV and other satellite dishes?

Satellite dishes do not act as lightning prevention units and can be struck by lightning. To prevent satellite dishes from being struck by lightning, the unit needs be grounded on installation. This can decrease the damage caused should there be a lightning strike. Grounding of the satellite dish can be done by professional installers such as TV and Aerial. A lightning strike to an ungrounded satellite dish causes a surge of electricity through cables and electric cables, which could result in fires at any of the points. TV and Aerial are professional installers able to install DSTV satellite dishes correctly thus reducing the risk to the home.