Algonquin Cell Tower Next to MCCD Prairie Path Has Warning Sign

Friends of McHenry County Blog are a constant source of stories. I just wish I had the time to write them all.

A loyal reader from Algonquin noted my interest in the Crystal Lake Park District’s selling the skyline of Ken Bird Park for $2,000 a month and the health concerns of some residents.

He remembered that the McHenry County Conservation District has a cell phone tower next to its Prairie Path in Algonquin.

And he took a picture of the warning sign.

Just thought you might be interested. (Click to enlarge.)

The warnings seemed aimed at workers. They say,

  • All personnel should have electromagnetic energy (EME) awareness training.
  • All personnel entering this site must be authorized.
  • Obey all posted signs.
  • Assume all antennas are active.
  • Before working on antennas, notify owners and disable appropriate transmitters.
  • Maintain minimum 3 feet clearance from all antennas.
  • Do not stop in front of antennas.
  • Use personal RF monitors while working near antennas.
  • Never operate transmitters without shields during normal operation.
  • Do not operate base station antennas in equipment room.

Instead of little dot points, there are triangles in front of each warning.

Another sign says this antenna is owned by American Tower. It tells how to contact the company and says, “NO TRESPASSING.” It has contact numbers for leasing and emergencies.

Of course, kids won’t be inside the fence or climbing on the “stealth flag pole.”

But, working on a cell tower sounds like a dangerous job, doesn’t it?


Algonquin Cell Tower Next to MCCD Prairie Path Has Warning Sign — 1 Comment

  1. These warning signs should not be of concern to anyone nearby the site. As long as you are outside the locked enclosure (required by FCC safety regulations), you are within the far-field area where RF exposure levels are within the uncontrolled exposure limits. This is a very low limit that is enforced for areas where occupants cannot control the amount of exposure they experience (in other words, they can't turn it off). This is a level that is safe for continuous exposure.

    Inside the gate, you are subject to controlled area limits, where you basically have to take steps to ensure your own safety. In other words, don't climb the tower and lick the antenna. It is not made of delicious candy.

    Broadcast towers can be riskier, where you have hundreds if not thousands of watts. Tower work requires coordination between all the customers to reduce transmitter power to bring exposure within the controlled limits.

    Working on a cell tower isn't particularly dangerous; the primary risks are from falls and falling ice. Transmitter power levels are pretty low.

    I don't do tower work myself. There are specially trained tower crews who specialize in this, and they do amazing work, not to mention kind of defying gravity.

    I think I'll try defying gravity…

    – Tom Morris
    Engineer, WRGP-FM, Miami, FL

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