2,500 Stadium Football Lights Recalled - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

2,500 Stadium Football Lights Recalled

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, has announced a recall of Whitco Company LP poles 70 feet tall or higher. The poles are used for stadium lighting, most commonly around football fields. The recall encompasses more than 2,500 units sold between 2000-2005, that government officials say can fracture or crack and fall over, posing a risk of serious injury or death to patrons and bystanders from being hit or crushed.

According to the Consumer Public Safety Commission, poles manufactured by the Whitco Company, which is now out of business, have so far been linked to eleven confirmed incidents of falling over. IN one, incident, a pole fell through the roof of a school gymnasium causing significant property damage. In two other incidents, the poles fell onto outdoor bleachers, causing significant property damage.

The majority of incidents occurred in Texas with others in several other states where Whitco Co. LP poles have been installed. To date, CPSC is not aware of any injuries. However, some incidents have been close calls, with people exiting the area just minutes before a pole fell. CPSC has also identified more than 50 Whitco Co. LP poles that have not yet fallen, but inspections revealed fractures and/or cracks next to the weld that joins the pole to its base plate. The fallen and cracked poles were located near or around school football stadiums and gymnasiums.

This recall to inspect and repair involves Whitco Co. LP outdoor steel stadium light poles from about 70 to 135 feet and weigh from about 1 to 4 tons. The poles are constructed of steel with a galvanized coating and were manufactured between 2000-2005.The poles can be found at facilities such as recreational parks and fields, schools and outdoor stadiums. Attached is a listing (pdf) of locations that may have the affected poles.

To reduce the risk of injury, Whitco Co. LP light poles should be inspected by an engineer or a Level II non-destructive testing technician immediately to identify cracking at or near the weld connecting the pole to the base plate flange. A visual examination with the naked eye or with a magnifier will not determine the extent of any cracking. Non-destructive techniques such as magnetic particle inspection, dye penetrant, or ultrasonic inspection techniques are recommended. If any cracking or fracturing is found, immediately have the affected poles repaired or replaced by a qualified professional. A design analysis to assess the stresses placed on the pole is also recommended. CPSC recommends that all outdoor steel stadium light poles be routinely inspected by a professional. As the manufacturer has become bankrupt, individual owners of the poles must arrange for inspection.

For additional information, please contact CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 anytime or send an e-mail to info@cpsc.gov

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