Over time, the structural integrity of light polls can be compromised by various elements - both from people and mother nature. Damage can range from small dings and scratches to the takedown of the entire structure. As light poles wear down over time, a weakened structure can have dangerous ramifications to those around it. Ergo, it is important to ensure regular maintenance is done on said light poles in order to establish their safety and overall structure.
In Ontario, we face a plethora of factors - from the many moods of mother nature to the congested roads; both of which can cause harm to light poles. Proper maintenance can promote the longevity of these light poles to keep passerby’s safe and help city planners avoid costly replacements. Light pole manufacturers in Ontario ensure quality ensues from products, however, some elements that could harm light poles are difficult to avoid. Thus, proper maintenance is imperative to ensure the integrity of products remains intact.
Here are a few guidelines to follow when performing maintenance on light poles:
Inspect ALL elements
It’s imperative to check ALL elements of the light pole. Should damage be noted, it seems reasonable to only check on the area that has been reported damaged, however, damage in one area could potentially spread throughout and cause more significant issues in the long run. For example, a cracked base could impact the entire structure and what starts as a small and easily fixable crack could potentially turn into a full light pole replacement.
When inspecting light poles, it’s important to check the following;
The base - this is a crucial part of the overall structure and any damage to the base could cause issues for the structure in its entirety.
Fasteners - fasteners hold everything together and a loose screw could be grounds for trouble. Check on all fasteners and ensure they are tightly fastened and free from damage.
Covers - base covers can face the brunt of foot traffic or any land-based damage. Ensure they aren’t missing or damaged.
Arms and fixtures - arms and fixtures are typically the weaker parts of the structure as they aren’t deeply rooted into the ground and are more susceptible to wind and other weather damage. Ensure the material is still in good shape and any fasteners are securely holding the arms/fixtures
If any damage should arise, get it dealt with ASAP
It’s easy to ignore minor damage when it occurs. Chips, cracks, and dents in lighting poles can be easily disregarded, however, it’s important to deal with damage as soon as possible, no matter how minor. Miniscule damage, when not repaired, can lead to more significant damage over time. Even the smallest of cracks can tarnish the structural integrity of the pole.
What should I do in the event I notice minor damage? If you do notice any cracks, chips, or dents, it’s best to call the manufacturer as well as a repair service. If extra parts are needed, the manufacturer may send them to you. It’s also important to note the frequency of damage to a certain lighting pole. If you notice that a particular pole is consuming damage over and over, the placement of it may need to be redone.
What is the difference between routine and non-routine maintenance?
Maintenance for lighting poles can be broken down into two categories: routine and non-routine. It’s imperative to understand the difference between the two to ensure maintenance is done correctly each and every time.
Routine maintenance adheres to a set schedule. Depending on the type of lighting pole and it’s location, visual inspections are done every 4-5 years, ground resistance testing of power supply once every 4 years, and ground resistance testing of ground electrode and grid once every 8 years. Routine maintenance is done regardless of whether or not there are any issues with the lighting or the pole.
When routine maintenance is conducted, the person doing so will take note of; the date, time, and location, weather conditions on site at the time of the inspection, the status of all pieces (lighting and structural), operational status, any noted defects, resolution/steps for handling any detected defects, any additional follow up work required.
Non-routine maintenance is conducted when there has been reporting of an issue, damage, or system failure pertaining to the pole structure or lighting itself. Unlike routine maintenance, non-routine maintenance does not adhere to a specific schedule and is only done so when there is a reported issue. Non-routine maintenance inspections are typically called when; there is damage to the structural integrity of the pole, arm, or fixtures, overhead equipment becomes loose and could impose danger on motorists and/or pedestrians below, a pole has been knocked down or hit, there are issues related to the lighting/wiring that could pose as a danger to motorists and/or pedestrians.
The reports for non-routine maintenance are similar to those of routine maintenance whereas date, time, location, weather conditions at time of inspection, and status of all pieces are noted. Reports for non-maintenance routines do focus more so on defects and go into greater detail when it comes to resolutions and steps that need to be taken. This is solely because non-routine maintenance calls are typically made when there is a critical error that could be harmful to people or the product.
It’s important to adhere to the regulated maintenance practices to ensure all lighting structures are safe and fully operational. Regular maintenance can help increase the lifespan of your cities lighting poles and prevent any minor damage from becoming severe.
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