CacheCrazy.Com: Johnnygeo on Geocaching Safety ~ Lamp Post Caches, are they safe?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Johnnygeo on Geocaching Safety ~ Lamp Post Caches, are they safe?

In the never ending quest to enjoy life to it's fullest, the theme is, "SAFETY FIRST". Today our new friend and safety adviser at CacheCrazy.Com, Johnnygeo tells us very clearly that, skirt lifting may be hazardous to your health! Let's all learn a little and play it safe! 


Lamp Post Caches, are they safe?

At the end of this post I want you to answer the question... Please take a read...

***In this post I'm refering to the type of lamp post cache that a person needs to lift a skirt or cover to grab the cache. This cover usually protects the bolts of a post and most of the time, but not all, there are no wires exposed. I am NOT talking about a lamp post cache where a cacher would hide a micro inside the opening of the lamp post beside energized wiring. A cache placed inside the opening of a lamp post is a very serious safety concern and should NEVER be created. If a cache is found inside a lamp post, please contact a reviewer to have the cache archived and the local utility company to close the lamp post opening properly.***

Now... let's talk about a micro under a skirt of a LPC...

I "Googled" Lamp Post Caches on my computer and came up with a lot of hits on the subject. I read how they're lame because they're so boring after finding 10 of them in a row. I read that they're on private property and that a cacher needs permission before they hide a cache in the lamp post. I read that a lamp post cache caused a bomb threat.

All of these concerns are valid but from a safety perspective I think we're missing the boat. There needs to be more thought on how a lamp posts electrical equipment fails. It's happening way too much to say.. Ahhh, that never happens...

Remember, everytime you lift a lamp post cover to find a cache, you're trusting that the lampost wiring has not failed from old age or has not been vandelized before you got there.

As I've said in the past, a city, town, etc can have the best electrical maintenance program in the world, and still, the power equipment can fail, like anything else.

For a handful of you that may be asking yourself, "I haven't heard of anyone getting killed by geocaching by a lampost", you're right, and I hope that knowbody ever does. BUT people doing other hobbies, walking their dog, playing around lamposts and other types of electrical equipment are getting killed. 

Here's some proof on what's going on "out there". (please click on the link for the full story)
(1)... The electrified spots were discovered during emergency inspections prompted by Ms. Lane's death...Manhattan had 53 electrified manholes and service-box covers, and 30 charged lampposts. The Bronx had 6 electrified manhole and service-box covers and 25 charged lampposts. READ LINK
(2) The downtown electrocution of a 9-year-old boy was caused by the failure of the insulation in a 480-volt wire in the base of a light post, according to a report from investigators. READ LINK

(3)An ungrounded light pole is being eyed as the possible cause of death of a 9-year-old girl at a self-serve carwash Monday evening, a city official said Wednesday.
These are just a small hand full of incidents that are occuring out there.
Lamp posts are meant to be safe because they're out in the general public but as you have just read, that's not always the case. Lamp posts are meant to give light to an area and to be left alone... not to be played on or in.
Also, if we teach our children it's okay to lift up covers to this equipment, will they know what not to enter when they're alone? Probably NOT. READ LINK
Let's not have our kids get-used-to playing around this equipment.

There are so many other places we can hide and find geocaches, let's stay away from electrical equipment.
So, are LPC's safe?

Thanks for stopping by,

About the author: 
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
I enjoy travel, cycling, trail running, Okinawan karate and Geocaching
I work for a large power utility company as a Health & Safety Professional, "The Safety Guy". I graduated at the University of Alberta in Occupational Health & Safety in 2008. 

If you're a geocacher please take a moment to visit my blog on Geocaching Electrical Safety.


Dave DeBaeremaeker said...

If you have ever seen the state of maintenance for the average lamp post its easy to understand that they are hazzards.

It is clear. There is nothing good about LPCs... Not one thing. They are not a) fun, b) creative c) in interesting places, d) safe.

Andrew W said...

I usually look around before just grabbing at things blindly, but that is just me. I am usually more worried about lifting the skirt and having a swarm of bees fly out, once the whole hive fell out on my hands.

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