Safe Schools for Prince George's County

Parents, Neighbors, and Students Against  Cell Towers on School Property

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Examples of Safety Issues on School Cell Towers. 

Fire at Middle School. A cell phone tower on the property of the Howell High School complex on Highlander Way in Howell caught fire and forced the evacuation of several buildings and closure of the middle school because firefighters feared it would fall.

Fire on Athletic Field Tower. The pole held lights for the football field as well as cell phone equipment. Homes within a one-block radius of the school were evacuated. Officials on the scene said all activities outside of the school were canceled for the day. School stadium will be shut down until further notice.

READ MORE The amount of fires and worker accidents on cell towers is shocking. Scroll down this page to see a full list of news coverage on fires and deaths and accidents from around the United States. 

Dr. David Stupin, retired physicist from the Los Alamos National Lab compiled this list of of cell tower fires and collapses. 

Knowledge Leads to Action
 We believe that with

anything is possible.
OSHA News Release
"In the past few months, tower workers have been injured and killed by falling objects, equipment failure, and the structural collapse of towers."

No More Falling Workers
OSHA focuses on protecting cell tower employees after increase in worksite fatalities. 2/2014

OSHA Warning letter to communication tower employers 2/2014

Cell Towers are a Threat to Medical Helicopters

School playing fields are likely emergency landing locations for helicopters, making them dangerous places for cell towers.

"The number of fatal flights has risen sharply, closely tracking the rapid growth in what is now a $2.5 billion industry. Exploring the factors that have contributed to the current situation, Post reporters Gaul and Flaherty explain,
"Unlike commercial airline trips, only a fraction of helicopter flights are conducted under instrument flight rules, which makes it easier to travel in inclement weather. Yet because of their low flight paths, helicopters are especially vulnerable to rapid changes in weather. Most flights are made under visual flight rules, with the pilot using his eyes to pick through clouds and around obstacles,  report Gaul and Flaherty. According to the FAA, Unmarked wires, antennas, poles, cell towers, and similar objects are often difficult to see, even in the best daylight weather, in time for a pilot to successfully take evasive action. And Gaul and Flaherty point out, More than half of the fatal [medical helicopter] crashes occur at night, but only one-third of the medical helicopter pilots are equipped with night-vision goggles to help them avoid power lines, towers and other obstructions."

The Washington Post
The Deadly Cost of Swooping in to Save a Life,
 Gilbert M. Gaul and Mary Ellen Flaherty

"There are more than 5000 collisions with poles or wires on the FAA database. Year to date in CY 2008, there are reported 23 collisions with manmade obstacles in the NTSB database with 13 fatalities (in 7 accidents). This results in an average of 2.3 accidents a month or one every 13-14 days. The article goes on to project, These numbers can be expected to grow over the next 20 years as new facilities such as transmission lines, telecommunication towers, and windmill parks continue to expand … ."

Rotorcraft Professional Magazine,  January 2009

Do We Want Commercial Industrial Machinery on Our Playgrounds?

Frontline: Cell Tower Safety

Cell Towers are Industrial Machines. They have occupational hazards as would any Heavy Industrial Machine.

Is this what we want on our playgrounds?

Labor Department Warms of "Alarming Rise "in Cell Tower Deaths. Read the 2014 Report HERE.

Cell Towers on Playgrounds = Safety Hazards

The Safety Issues With Towers:

Hazardous Hazmat Sites: Cell Tower compounds  have back up generators on site. They have hazardous materials such as lead acid batteries in their batteries and have  diesel fuel for the back up generators.(See the lease where this is stated.)

Do we want HAZMAT sites on our kids playgrounds?

Fires: Cell towers sometimes catch fire during routine maintenance.  This happens more often than you think and there are several recent examples like this one  in Pennsylvania.or this one or this one -July 15 Fire on a School Cell Tower! 

Worker Accidents: Tower workers sometimes fall off towers, die and are seriously injured. This is happening so often that OSHA has gotten involved. Do we want our children witness to such accidents?

The Fall Zone:  Cell towers have fall zones.  At Tasker Middle School- the School ITSELF and the parking lot is in the Fall zone This is the area that would be in danger should a tower topple due to fire, high winds,  earthquakes. ( Another reason they're better suited for commercial/industrial areas.) See this tower that caught on fire and is falling over

Officials have said that these towers were built to crumple and not fall over. However if you research tower issues you will see several examples of towers falling over. For example if you scroll through this recent Pennsylvania tower fire you will see a picture of it leaning over. See: Pennsylvania Fire results in Collapse Fears: Collapse Zone created at base and they vacated the buildings: Seems like engineers have work to do!

Dangerous in Storms: Ice can also accumulate on the tower and can be dangerous when it falls off.

Crime: Cell towers have attracted criminals and vandals (copper thefts), and we don't need or want to increase the risk of crime in our neighborhood. SEE THIS NEWS.

Safety Checks: Workers who do maintenance on the towers are contractors and are not necessarily checked for safety for children. These strangers  come and go as they please with 24 hour access. They do not pass the front desk but just drive up.

Kids Could get Hurt: Cell tower compounds have fences children might try to  climb up. Inside are high voltage electrical lines  and dangerous machinery. What if they try to scale these fences on a dare?  Teens do these things! 

Truck Traffic: Trucks come to do regular maintenance. Do we want all these trucks pulling up and backing up  near our school?

Hazmat Site

Fire Risk

Fall Risk

Worker Accidents


Truck Traffic i

Kids Could Get Hurt