Residents’ fears lightning to cause more damage to Hackney homes

Resident Rita Rowe is upset after lightening struck the aerials of the building damaging her telepho

Resident Rita Rowe is upset after lightening struck the aerials of the building damaging her telephone. - Credit: Archant

Residents fear lightning damage with more storms scheduled this month, due to the lack of safety measures taken to protect their homes.

Guinness Trust Estate residents are upset after lightening struck the aerials of the building and da

Guinness Trust Estate residents are upset after lightening struck the aerials of the building and damaged their televisions. - Credit: Archant

Occupants of Ericson House, in the Guinness Trust Estate, Stamford Hill, were shocked when lightening struck their building, destroying their televisions and phone sets earlier this month.

Rita Rowe, 56, said: “People in the block thought that bombs were dropping. The lightning hit the aerial and went right the way through.”

Rita said that her BT infinity box and her landline handset were both irreparable after the storm on July 20.

She added that the building’s intercom system was also damaged and only fixed last week, leaving elderly and vulnerable residents isolated.


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Rita said: “I want to know why only one block on our estate has an earth rod to protect against lightening. There is more lightning due in this hot weather.”

Residents watching television at the time saw their sets spark and then shut down when the lightening struck.

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Rita said: “I had to buy a new phone and all my neighbours have these flat screen televisions that are now permanently destroyed – Guinness Trust hasn’t offered them any compensation or made any comment about replacing them.”

She continued: “I have had to lend my neighbour, who is 70 years old, my television and there is an 80-year-old upstairs who has lost his as well. There are many more who have suffered.”

Earth rods, or lightning rods, are wires mounted on top of buildings that lead into the ground.

If lightning strikes, it hits the rod and conducts into the ground through the wire, instead of passing through the building, where it could start a fire or cause electrocution.

A Guinness South spokesperson said: “We are aware that there were lightning strikes at Ericson House recently. Fortunately no incidents of damage to the building or injury were reported.

“There is no statutory requirement for buildings to have lightning protection systems – however in light of the recent thunder storms we are reassessing whether or not additional lightning protection is required at Ericson House.”

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