Jeff, You may want to talk locally to Seminole County PRD. They use lightning detection systems in their park system and have for several years. I'm sure that they would have a word for you on this matter. Good searching! Robert
I've used a well-known lightning detection system for the past five summer seasons. I've found there are good and bad aspects to the system. I've been in lightning storms where the horn didn't sound and then I've had the horn sound when there was no apparent imminent threat. Of course, that's what it's intended to do, sound an alarm if the atmospheric conditions are such that lightning is likely.
I have found the system helpful from a communications standpoint, as when an alarm sounds people are inclined to evacuate to shelter, thus making it easier to clear the deck. By the same token, once we hear thunder or see lightning (even if the alarm doesn't sound) we're still clearing the deck. So whether they're very accurate in predicting the possibility of lightning I don't know, but they are widely used and do have some helpful benefits.
Jeff - The Thorguard system has many issues and users should beware. There are many more science-based technologies available these days that provide more advanced warning than Thorguard could ever provide. I've looked into WeatherBug's solutions and have been very impressed with what they are able to do for clubs/recreation facilities. They call it Weatherbug Club Safety (www.weatherbugprofessional.com/clubsafety). A much more modern solution to lightning detection/prediction/notification than Thorguard's 1974 "technology".
Jeff - We use it. It is a good indicator of electromagnetic activity in the area, but it does go off quite frequently when there are no storms in your immediate area. We use a variety of items along with ThorGuard such as Accu-Weather premium, cell-phone applications, and several websites we check during the day to see what the approaching weather is. ThorGuard does a nice job of keeping u up to date on storms, but I would not recommend it be the only thing you use.
Our resort uses DTN MxVision WeatherSentry for our waterpark, chairlift rides, golf, and recreation areas. It has been great in updating in real-time the electromagnetics in a these areas. You can set parameters of certain distances from your facility and get an updates sent to your phone. You should check out their website http://www.dtnmeteorlogix.com/
Lightning Detection is an Essential Part of any Pool Operation. These systems are expensive, but when it comes to liability, its a REQUIREMENT (as far as Im concerned).
Just understand a few points:
Limit the bells and whistles (man, salespeople can be pushy!)
Remember - this equipment is NOT LIGHTNING PROOF. All bets are off if it gets struck.
Accuracy is iffy in most cases. The payoff is that the public is safer knowing your facility is due diligent.
Hope this helps.
Clemente Rivera - Regional Pool Manager - Town Sports International (NEW YORK SPORTS CLUBS)
25 Pools, and counting!