What's the cause?
The main cause of damage is bush fires. These can start at any time and spread over large areas relatively quickly. Where wooden power poles in the path of the fire damage inevitably follows. Normally the initial fire will ignite the pole which will then continue to smoulder over time. The treatment of wood with creosote wood preservative increases flammability and telegraph poles treated with copper based wood preservatives also have a higher flammability and smouldering index than untreated wood.
Normally this means that the pole will smoulder and burn through a few hours after the initial fire has passed. This leads to the pole falling and a loss of supply and potential danger to anyone near the pole as well as the need to replace the burnt pole. There have also been instances where poles exposed to fire have suffered a loss of strength due to charring and burning of the outer layers. These poles can then fail at a later date. If conditions are dry and there is arcing when the pole falls this can start another bush fire.
What's the solution?
In developing a better solution to the damage caused to wooden poles fire it soon became clear that as well as offering good fire protection it was also essential that any solution be sensibly priced, easy to apply, long lasting with excellent UV and weather resistance whilst being able to withstand multiple burns without failing.
Three years of testing and development work led to a specially formulated long life, fabric based pole protection product that was low in cost and quick and easy to apply to the utility pole in a few minutes using a simple hand stapler and pair of scissors.
Field trials in Africa proved to be highly successful. In an area with a high incidence of bush fires 2000 CCA treated power poles were protected with Polesaver fire protection to a height of 2 meters with adjacent poles being left unprotected for comparison purposes. Following 12 months exposure the poles were inspected following several bush fires. All of the Polesaver fire fabric protected samples were standing and in excellent condition, whereas the surrounding unprotected pole were either heavily charred or had failed completely. On close inspection the fire fabric was found to be in excellent condition with minimal charring damage to the pole surface behind the fabric (full test report available on request).