Events / Technical Articles

Field Day Safety Checklist: 10 Safety Tips for Successful Field Day

While Field Day offers lots of opportunities for fun, there are many hazards as well. It’s why the ARRL encourages clubs to appoint a safety officer and assistants who are responsible for ensuring that stations are safely set up and torn down, and that participants make it through the event unharmed.

Here are some safety checks to remember as you prepare for Field Day 2018, June 23-24:

Communication is Key: Be proactive. Tell your guests, both young and old, how to be safe on your site. Don’t assume they know what may be off limits and potentially dangerous. Before Field Day, it’s a good idea to brief club members about common-sense rules for staying safe.

Generator: Keep the fuel container a safe distance away from the generator and radio equipment.

Grounding: Proper grounding should be provided at each station and for all equipment, including the generator, electrical lines, towers and support structures.

Antenna Safety: One of the biggest concerns is finding a location to safely erect your antennas. Make sure you do not install antennas, towers and masts near power lines. Take extra care to guarantee that your installations won’t contact power lines if they fall. In case of lightning, antennas should be disconnected. All temporary structures, such as towers, masts, and guy lines, should be properly secured and marked (with cones or flags, for example) to keep people from coming in contact with them.

Safety Equipment: Bring along a fully charged fire extinguisher and provide instruction to participants on its proper use. Field Day veterans also know the importance of having a well-equipped first-aid kit or two. If you’re erecting an antenna, wear a hard hat and safety goggles.

Mitigate Tripping Hazards: Keep cables, power cords and rope out of areas where they could cause injury. Areas that pose risk should be clearly marked to alert participants and visitors.

Emergency Help: Survey club members so everyone knows who is trained in CPR, AED and first aid.

Before You Pound: Check ahead to determine where it is safe to insert tent stakes and ground rods to avoid striking pipes and lines.

Drink! Not your favorite spirited beverage (a definite no-no!), but good old-fashioned water. Staying hydrated is important. If you’re caught up in intense contesting, it can be easy to forget to pause for a refresher. Avoid heat stroke by cooling off in shaded areas and getting plenty of liquid. Keep an eye out to make sure other club members are taking the same precautions. Look for these signs of heat-related illness and take appropriate action.

Bug Spray and Sunscreen: Take the necessary precautions to prevent sunburn and bug bites. You want to leave ARRL Field Day 2018 with nothing but fond memories, not scorched shoulders and mosquito bites.

Click here for a safety checklist from the ARRL.

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