The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a nationwide alert on Monday warning school officials and facility managers to immediately inspect outdoor stadium light poles manufactured by Whitco Co. because the poles can crack or fall over, possibly causing serious injury or death to bystanders.
To date, the agency has confirmed nine incidents in which poles installed between 2000 through 2006 fell, including one pole that went through the roof of a school gymnasium. On two occasions, a pole fell onto outdoor bleachers. While the majority if incidents have been reported in Texas, the poles have been installed in other states.
The agency, which is investigating the poles and other outdoor steel stadium light poles that may pose similar concerns, said it is not aware of any injuries. They have confirmed 50 poles that have not fallen but developed fractures and/or cracks next to the weld that joins the pole to its base plate.
The CPSC recommends that all Whitco Co. LP stadium poles be inspected immediately by a qualified professional to reduce the risk of additional falling poles. If any cracks, fractures or other signs of deterioration are found, the affected poles should be repaired or replaced immediately.
The poles range from about 70 feet to 135 feet tall and weigh from about 1 ton to 4 tons. They are commonly found on the grounds of schools, parks and outdoor stadiums.
For information or questions regarding this warning, consumers can e-mail the agency or contact CPSC’s Hotline anytime at (800) 638-2772. #