The Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

When the Lock on the Gate Isn’t

[October 2012] The FCC requires stations to provide secure fencing so unauthorized persons are kept away from dangerous high RF levels. Fines are assessed where fencing has deteriorated, or gates not secure. You would think this is pretty straightforward. But it not always.

It might be due to a tower not being right next to the studio/office building. But, for whatever reason, gates and tower dog houses are often left to slowly deteriorate until it is hard to call them secure.

For example, there is a lock on this gate, but …

Example of how not to lock a gate

…if we look a bit closer:

Unsecure Gate

It is hard to say this gate is secure

Of course, there are a lot of examples of tower sites where the fence has not been given appropriate, and regular, attention.

Gate held closed by weeds

This gate is held closed mostly by weeds

Sometimes you might well wonder if there is anyone bothering to visit and check up on the site at all.

This next one picture actually was taken at a site where the studio/office was co-located.

Gate is down

This site seems to say “come right on in!”

All of which leads us up to another issue and a common problem found at sites with multiple users: How do you provide easy and secure entry for everyone from radio station users to cellular operators to utility meter readers? One common solution is a series of locks, each on a separate link in the chain.

Unfortunately, either through carelessness or just plan meanness, there are times when a station engineer arrives, only to find his lock is bypassed by someone else having set their lock in a way to make access impossible.

And then there is this picture, sent in by one of our readers:

Unusual way to secure a gate

A truly unusual way to “secure” a gate

Yes, that is a tie-wrap holding the chain together there.

There was no indication of whether someone had misplaced their lock on site or was reacting to some other issue. But we can only hope this was corrected rapidly.

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The Worst I’ve Ever Seen is a periodic look at some of the curious things that happen in broadcasting.

It is not our intention to embarrass anyone, but to realize that doing everything perfectly is not always possible. Nevertheless, after we chuckle a bit, it does remind us to check out our facilities.

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