Cambridgeshire Neighbourhood Watch Association
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Procedure for Testing Lamp Posts

Before commencing the attachment of a Neighbourhood Watch Sign to a lamp post it is essential to ensure the post is safe. Please read carefully the procedure below. If you need further information contact our street signs or district leaders. A volt stick can be provided – contact the street signs lead.

Although rare, there have been instances where a street light becomes faulty or damaged and the column was live. This Code of Practice sets out safety procedures which a Neighbourhood Watch member erecting a sign on lamp posts must follow.

To comply with health and safety requirements, the person attaching a neighbourhood watch sign to the street light will need to be competent to use a volt stick and follow the correct procedure for any interaction with a lighting column. It is essential to use a volt stick  before touching the street lighting column to check that the column is not electrically live before attaching the Neighbourhood Watch sign.

To test the lamp post is safe you will need to use a Volt Stick. This is a simple device which lights when alternating current is at the tip.

The Procedure

Step 1

Before leaving home check that the Volt stick is working by checking that it lights when held near to a known working source of electricity. Turn the switch on and move the stick around and the stick should light. Make sure you hold the stick beyond the safety guard. Turn off the switch and move the stick around and it should not illuminate. This shows the stick is working correctly.

Step 2

Walk up to the column where the sign will be placed. While approaching the post check the ground to make sure that there are no cracks in the ground around the base. Cracks can be a sign that the post is live.

Step 3

Put the tip of the volt stick on the post being careful not to touch the post yourself. If the stick does not light it is safe to continue. If the stick lights then it could be live. Report this to the authority responsible for the post.

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