Lightning strikes the ground in the UK around 300,000 times a year and for many petrochemical manufacturing facilities they can play a significant role in disrupting operations. This could be anything from an increased risk of ignition due to static electricity to lightning strikes directly to the plant and process equipment.

When a thunderstorm is in the vicinity, many manufacturing and storage transfer processes must be made safe or halted completely as part of the site’s risk mitigation and safety protocols. Both cause loss of productivity and efficiency for the plant operators.

With this in mind, meteorological equipment specialist Biral is offering its BTD-200 self-contained, standalone lightning warning system so that employers can take precautions to prevent exposure to lightning and ensure their workers’ and process safety.

Statistics show that 30-60 people are struck by lightning each year in the UK and on average, three (5-10%) of these strikes are fatal. Because of this, workplaces have a duty of care to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their workers under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, so if staff are working outdoors in exposed areas a lightning safety plan should be in place.

For the best chance of getting a thunderstorm threat warning, the detector should be able to alert for both distant lightning and the presence of a strong electric field at a location. This strong electric field is indicative of a lightning threat developing overhead – so potentially a very serious situation and one to take immediate action over.

The innovative BTD-200 lightning warning system from Biral can do both. It detects distant lightning up to 22 miles away as well as warning about a developing strong electric field overhead, even if there is no lightning being produced.

The Lightning Works software will then alert the staff and managers to these threats in real time, allowing them to review and manage the situation and to staff to the potential danger. It can also activate warning sounders automatically if required.

The newly released Lightning Works Messenger software system works seamlessly with the BTD-200 and automatically sends out both email and SMS text messages to any number of recipients. In this way, responsible staff, site managers as well as operators can be directly alerted to the risk of a developing or approaching thunderstorm. Again, strengthening site safety protocols and improving efficiency by reducing the time required to alert key staff.

The BTD-200 lightning warning system represents the next generation of lightning detection and warning system. It has been developed from proven professional technology currently used worldwide at airports and by national meteorological organisations.

Further information is available from Biral on +44 1275 847787, email: or by visiting the company’s website at or the dedicated BTD-200 microsite

Contact details:
Bristol Industrial & Research Associates Ltd
Unit 8 Harbour Road Trading Estate, Portishead,
+44 (0)1275 847787
main site:
lightning microsite:

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