Mitigate wildfire risk with fire-resistant poles; they’re made of ductile iron and proven to be fireproof in most situations.
Over the past few years, the destruction of wildfires has grown, particularly in the western U.S. This growth has been linked to rising temperatures, drier summers, more drought periods and earlier snowmelt. Nationally, the World Meteorological Organization has reported that although the overall number of wildfires has decreased, the destruction and burn area has increased over 500% since the 1970s.
Prior to 2019, 14 of the 20 largest wildfires in California history occurred between 2000 and 2017.
The destruction and burn area has increased more than 500% since the 1970s.
Many utilities and government agencies in the U.S. are taking steps to mitigate risk associated with their infrastructures as they relate to wildfires.
In fact, the State of California has issued General Order (GO) 95, which requires utilities to upgrade wooden utility structures, including electrical poles. Due to this Order, utilities will need to implement use of non-wood utility poles or other mitigation.
There are several types of non-wood utility poles, including steel, concrete, steel-and-concrete hybrids, composites and ductile iron, each of which, with an intumescent wrap for composite, is more resistant to fire than wood. These wood alternatives vary in benefits, resistance to heat, failure stress and cost. Of these, ductile iron is the best fireproof utility pole replacement.
What is ductile iron?
Ductile iron contains the same ingredients as cast iron, but with a different configuration of carbon. In cast iron, carbon is in flake form, while in ductile iron, the carbon is in nodular form. The result is that ductile iron has the ability to withstand intense load pressure and is resistant to extreme heat, even over extended periods of time.
Why choose ductile iron poles?
Ductile iron poles provide a fireproof, heat-resistant solution for replacing existing lines or expanding service. Ductile iron poles are among the strongest and most fire-resistant utility poles in the United States, more durable than wood and more cost-effective than steel or concrete.
The evidence from independent tests on ductile iron poles concluded the following:
- Ductile iron utility poles proved to be fireproof*, heat resistant and able to sustain loads well beyond requirements before failure, even after being subject to excessive heat over a sustained amount of time.
- In areas with an increased risk of wildfires, ductile iron utility poles would withstand extreme and prolonged fire/heat applications and heavy loading and emerge undamaged and completely intact.
- Ductile iron poles should be considered by utility companies with distribution and transmission lines in wildfire risk areas for replacement or expansion.
*As demonstrated by the Western Center Fire Center Test and EDM Full-Scale Burn and Bend Test.