Icicle danger: BEWARE OF Death by Icicle!
Icicles and rooftop snow are the latest danger facing the public this winter. Freezing temperatures across the country have led to the build-up of ice and snow on cell towers, buildings and roofs - with emergency services called into action to deal with some of the dangers.
More people than ever are being killed by icicles. It's official. Winter is here and is dangerous!!
The numbers of people injured or killed this year by falling icicles is still going up and the news isn't good.
The fact that icicles are dangerous shouldn't come as a surprise--they're essentially little frozen missiles, usually falling from great heights--but the number of people harmed this year is surprisingly high. In fact, injury rates are the highest on record. Don’t be complacent next time we are outside near a cell tower, house or buildings with icicles.
That piece of ice can kill!!
Ice bridges are in place like the one below but we still have to watch out from the sky above for those falling pieces of ice that can be up to over 1000 lbs falling toward you at a high rate of speed. Yes that is the size of a refrigerator falling from the tower above. It can kill and severely damage vehicles and equipment.
How do icicles form?? The heat emanating from homes, cause snow or ice to melt and then refreeze into icicles hanging from gutters, the edges of roofs, windows, or any place water is able to drip. Continued cold temperatures with period of slight warming trends also create icicles that "grow" and become larger, longer, and exponentially more dangerous to those who pass below them.
Icicles may become several feet long, with an extensively large diameter at the top, and if they fall from as little as one floor height, can cause property damage, injury and possibly even death. Back in the mid 1990’s we had a huge icicle at my house, it is at least 10 foot long and I am sure longer ones exist.
Ice can form quickly on the cold metal of the towers and metal roofs of buildings even with no rain, snow or much moisture. When ice coats an antenna, which is likely from 50 or hundred feet up to a thousand feet up even in mild winter weather, it becomes a serious hazard. Ice forms around the cold metal and builds while temperatures remain below freezing. When that ice warms and falls from the tower, it becomes a hazard not only to antennas lower on the tower but also to the transmitter buildings, vehicles, and people on the ground. One winter, a huge ice chunk knocked a hole in the thick reinforced concrete ceiling reported by one provided. As you can imagine, dripping water and high voltage didn't mix very well. Innumerable technicians or engineers working at sites have returned to their vehicles during winter weather to find their pickups smashed by refrigerator-sized chunks of ice. That is how dangerous these pieces of ice can be.
The dangers are worldwide. They do look pretty with the sunlight and hanging from the roof as a winter wonderland scene but they are like sharp weapons. Ice daggers: They are potentially lethal icicles hanging from a rooftops and towers around the world.
In one episode of the popular show known as "Mythbusters" shown (on the Discovery Channel), proved that falling ice could kill. Causing ice to fall several feet provided compelling evidence when penetration of a piece of meat was sufficiently deep to have caused serious injuries if not worse.
In fact, hundreds of people are injured or killed each year, in not only the United States but also any country that has similar weather, from spear-like icicles or large chunks of ice falling from several stories in height. A worker from Wisconsin died instantly in February 2010 when a microwave sized piece of ice fell, crushing his skull and vertebras in his neck and back. A 7-year-old boy from Springfield, Vermont, suffered traumatic brain injuries when an icicle fell and hit him while he was playing. The young boy suffered two skull fractures and brain damage and has to learn how to walk again. There are numerous other sad stories from ice, heavy snow, falling ice and these deadly icicles.
SAFETY TIPS FOR FALLING ICE:
Information from OSHA.gov, Discovery Channel, University of Chicago, North News and Pictures Ltd and National Telecommunications Safety.
Today's Blog post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald
Safety and Security Manager for Plateau