Safe Operations Near Roof Cellular Base Stations

Issue 3 and Volume 161.

BY JOSEPH VISCUSO What is a rooftop cellular base station? You have more than likely seen the cellular antennas attached to some rooftops in your district. You may have even seen the tall stand-alone cell towers in commercial areas. Although you see them every day everywhere you go, you probably never thought you would have to come in contact with them or that they might affect your decision making at a structure fire. Unfortunately, the minute you have to make the roof at a fire in a three- or four-story multiple dwelling to open the bulkhead door, you may have to deal with the antennas or other components of a base station. As the bucket of your tower ladder approaches the parapet, you start to wonder if it is dangerous. Can you place the ladder near it? Is it electrified? Could you use it to help gain access to the…

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