Ben Melton looked to the north and east of his Denton County home late Wednesday night, saw a brilliant display of lightning and breathed a sigh of relief.
"Peace of mind. You can't put a price on peace of mind," Melton told NBC 5 about the decision he made to have a lightning protection system installed on his roof shortly after he and his family moved in. "The insurance company can't give me my girls back or pictures of my girls back. So, to us, it was worth the investment."
The system on Melton's Northlake home consists of seven, 10-inch lightning rods positioned around the roof and a network of copper wires running from the rods to the ground.
There are no fewer than eight companies operating in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that offer lightning protection services.
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Prices to install a system will vary, but an average-sized home will start at around $3,000, according to Heath Howe, of Bonded Lightning Protection Systems, Ltd., headquartered in Argyle.
A properly installed system is approximately 99-percent effective in preventing lightning damage, according to statistics provided by the Underwriter Laboratories (UL) Master Label inspected systems, dating back to 1923.
"I mean, you may get the ultimate granddaddy strike of them all, but the lightning protection system is gonna do what it's supposed to do. It's gonna carry the lightning to the ground," Howe said.
Lightning from the same storm Melton watched struck no fewer than seven homes in Dallas-Fort Worth overnight Wednesday.
"Really, that's part of what helps you make up your mind is you watch the news and you see people's houses burn down, and, you know, they'll never get their priceless possessions back, or, God forbid, somebody gets hurt," Melton said. "If I can pay a small amount to ensure the safety of my family and my priceless possessions then, yeah, it's an easy choice."