After a very long two years, we are finally starting to see the return of large-scale in-person events—from concerts, parades, and festivals, to sporting events and expositions. While event organizers are doing their due diligence to ensure attendee safety and reduce the risk of Covid-19 spread, it’s not just the event goers that need protection.
These events require a myriad of electrical and digital systems to provide the lighting, sound, video, broadcasting, and services that give fans and visitors the ultimate experience. All of those systems are comprised of equipment located throughout the entire event venue with cabling traversing main floors, fields, stages, parking lots, eateries, and facilities where visitors and staff walk, gather, and even drive. And to make sure events go off without a hitch, all of that cabling needs protection.
Know Your Size and Load
When it comes to protecting valuable electrical and digital cables at outdoor events, you first want to make sure that your cable protector can accommodate the number of cables needing protection and their diameter. While you might just need a 1- or 2-channel protection system to protect small 24 AWG network cables, there may be scenarios where you need to protect several cables of various sizes or even large hoses that are 6 inches in diameter.
Another primary consideration is any potential load that might cross the protector, whether it’s pedestrians or vehicles. If it’s light pedestrian traffic and carts needing to traverse just one or two cables located in walkways and work areas, you might only need a simple rubber duct system like POWERBACK systems that come in a variety of sizes to accommodate various cable diameters, but if there’s the potential for heavy traffic and cars in the area, you’re going to need something more heavy duty with a load capacity of at least 7,000 lbs. And at a monster truck rally, you might need an extra heavy-duty protection system with even higher load capacity.
Consider the Environment
If the event is outdoors, you’re going to want to choose a protection system with all-weather construction. If it’s a public event with pedestrian traffic, there’s also a good chance that your cable protection system needs to be ADA compliant—the Americans with Disabilities Act that became law in 1990 requires that ramps must have a 1:12 slope ration, meaning it must have a one inch rise for every 12 inches of the ramp with protected edges for safe passage of disabled pedestrians and wheelchairs.
For additional safety, you also want to consider skid resistance and visibility. A plain black protection system that’s difficult to see could present a trip hazard, which is why many systems come in bright yellow or orange. For night-time events, you may even want to consider an illuminated system that can be easily seen by pedestrians and drivers. Firefly illuminated cable protectors feature built-in LED lights available in a variety of colors that are powered by common batteries that last up to 500 hours.
When it comes to protecting cables in carpeted environments like the tradeshow floor, cables often need to run in and around exhibit booths and along carpet trim. In carpeted environments, you want a low-profile cable solution that’s going to stay in place despite scuffing pedestrian feet, but at the same time, you want to protect the carpet and avoid messy adhesives. Non-adhesive, reusable cable covers with hook and loop technology are ideal for securing cables to carpet. Solutions like SAFCORD available in multiple colors and widths can even be cut to length, washed, and reused. And it’s flexible enough to go around curves or even on stairs.
The Easier the Better
When it comes to cable protection systems, flexibility and ease of installation go a long way in reducing time and labor. Avoid cumbersome protection systems that lock you into straight, longer runs and instead look for systems with right and left turn, four-way cross, or three-way “Y” options that allow you to easily get cables where they need to be. You also want a system that is easy to install, with no tools or hardware required. For quick set up, every piece of the system—straight sections, intersects, ramps, etc. – should easily snap together. Being able to access the channels with a top hinged lid also eases cable installation. Storing, organizing, and getting protectors and ramps where they need to be is also easier with durable carts designed specifically to store multiple protectors.
Everyone here at CablesPlus is excited that large in-person events and gatherings are back in full swing this summer! The good news is that our complete line of cable protection systems has all sizes and variations you need to protect cables and avoid hazards at virtually any event in any environment —from light and heavy duty, to illuminated and ADA compliant. Just contact us at email@example.com or 866-678-5852 for more information.