Game Day is Near: Is Your Lighting Infrastructure Safe and Ready?
The big game (or match, or event) is just around the corner. Is your athletic field lighting ready to perform as it should, and most importantly, keep your players and spectators safe until the final whistle?
Before you answer, consider this: Many athletic field owners and operators assume that as long as the lights turn on when needed, their steel or concrete lighting poles are fully functional and structurally safe from potentially catastrophic failure. However, this is not always the case. While stadium lights may appear perfectly functional to the untrained eye, there may be a multitude of structural defects, deterioration, and failing components on the pole or tower, making it susceptible to collapse at any moment.
How to Ensure Your Athletic Lighting is Safe
Do You Have an Existing Asset Management Plan For Your Athletic Field Lighting Solution?
A single light pole is an immense structure, reaching upwards of 75 feet in height and weighing thousands of pounds. The design and geometry of these assets makes it difficult to identify potential structural issues and threats with visual testing alone. As a result, these lighting structures are often susceptible to a broad spectrum of damage and defects that can easily go undiagnosed. Mechanical damage from extreme weather, corrosion, missing or damaged hardware, and defective welding are all typical issues that would be targeted during qualified, routine inspections. A reactive strategy that waits to address these issues only after they have progress to the point where they are now obvious to inexperienced personnel is to invite disaster.
Implement A Practice Of Lighting Maintenance And Structural Inspection
To truly evaluate the health of your athletic field lighting infrastructure, it’s vital to implement a comprehensive, consistent, and risk based maintenance plan to ensure your stadium is game day ready for all of your spectators and players. Partnering with a third-party provider that specializes in commercial outdoor area lighting evaluations, repairs, and replacements can streamline and optimize the process.
A team that specializes in athletic field assets will go beyond surface level damage, leveraging the power of non-destructive testing (NDT), such as ultrasonic testing (UT) and magnetic particle inspections (MT). This is the key to identifying and categorizing all of the potential structural issues that may be present with your steel light poles. Cracked welds, wall thickness loss due to corrosion, foundation and anchor bolt damage are all critical findings that simply can’t be addressed with visual inspection alone. You must be prepared to dive deeper to uncover the real issues present in your assets.
The final element of a proactive inspection program is to properly categorize any damage or defect found with a risk based health rating and a recommended corrective action. Not all damage is created equal and some issues require a much higher priority while some can be allowed to remain for a certain period of time before re-inspection or remediation. This is what allows an asset owner or maintenance professional to fix what needs to be fixed, at the appropriate time and cost. Ultimately this optimizes (lowers) total spend while also mitigating safety risks associated with pole failures.
The Benefits of Working With An Specialized Asset Management Provider
Of course, establishing a baseline health rating for every lighting asset at your sports field is only the first step in a full-scale maintenance program. The decision of what to repair vs replace vs reinspect can be a complex and often obscure process. An experienced solutions provider with proper risk based health ratings will develop a customized plan of action that resolves concerns as cost-effectively as possible.
Best of all, a dynamic asset management provider will offer turnkey solutions that expedite critical repairs, regardless of scale or scope of the project. From minor remediations to complete replacements and everything in between, your provider will guide you through the process to help make an informed decision about the management of your critical assets. Most importantly, you will rest easy knowing that the proactive lighting maintenance performed on your sports fields means that your assets have passed a robust litany of tests, which will ensure that your athletes, fans, and guests are safe to enjoy whatever event or spectacle you have planned at your facility.
When was the last time you inspected your athletic field lights and infrastructure? Don’t risk the safety of visitors or players. Call Exo today for a no-risk consultation.