Many power lines in the United States are above ground, strung between utility poles that keep the lines at a safe, yet accessible, distance from the ground. Utility poles also hold essential equipment, provide power lines with stability, and protect them from potentially dangerous elements, such as high winds. Without utility poles, lines would need to be buried underground, which can be expensive, time consuming, and makes the lines more difficult to access. Although arguably necessary, power poles are also problematic, providing rodents like squirrels an easy facet to climb about and damage electric equipment.
In the United States, power outages cost businesses about $150 billion per year. Wildlife interacting with power lines and poles accounts for over 11% of power disruptions. Most wildlife-induced outages can be prevented by installing Pole Guards in areas where many rodents may run rampant. This preventative measure greatly helps reduce power outages, as well as loss of life for the critters who find themselves scaling poles and sustaining injuries from meddling with electrical equipment.
What are Pole Guards?
Pole Guards are mounted on utility poles below electrical equipment, like switches, transformers, and power lines. The guards block critters access to these dangerous and essential devices. Pole Guards are made of heavy-duty acetyl copolymer, which is weather and UV resistant. This means that Pole Guards need little to no maintenance once in place.
The guard consists of two main components: the plate and the rollers. The plate attaches to four mounting nails and provides protection from the pole outward. The rollers are designed to spin on their axis, preventing innovative critters from climbing over the sides of the barrier. There are alternative mounting brackets for different types of poles, such as steel or concrete, where the nails won’t work.
Pole Guards are typically installed on standard wooden utility poles, but for poles with smaller diameters, the guard set comes with flexible tubing that acts as a filler between the pole and plate.
How are Pole Guards installed?
Pole Guards are easily added to power or communication poles. The barricade is installed 10 to 12 feet above the ground and extends 10 inches out from the pole. Four zinc-coated nails are inserted equidistant around the pole, which provides stability and an attachment point for the plate. The rollers are then affixed to the plate and should be checked that they can roll freely. Above the plate, tubing is installed around the pole and nails are hammered in above the tube to prevent the whole device from moving vertically.
Protecting power utility poles is essential to keep critters off essential electrical equipment, thereby preventing costly, frustrating power outages. Our Pole Guards and Line Guards, which help prevent animal access to communication wires themselves, are a trusty, simple system with major cost and operations savings. To learn more about Critter Guards’ effective, protective systems, contact us today.