Franklin Lakes August 5, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 9 Lightning detection system now in operation by Frank J. McMahon The Franklin Lakes Recreation and Parks Department has announced that the borough’s athletic fields are now equipped with a lightning detection system. The system is located at the fields at the municipal building complex on DeKorte Drive where soccer, lacrosse, and baseball fields are located; the Tommy John softball field on DeKorte Drive behind the library; the field at the Pulis Avenue Recreation Center at the end of Vichiconti Way; and McBride Field on Franklin Lake Road. John Ciurciu, the recreation and parks director, advised that if a siren sounds with an uninterrupted sound and a strobe light is on, there is lightning in the area and people should take appropriate action to ensure their safety. He explained that the strobe light would remain on during the detection period. When the siren sounds again with an intermittent sound and the strobe light goes off, it is safe to return to the fields. Ciurciu cautions that weather conditions change momentarily and the lightning system is not a total protection plan. People are urged to use common sense when there are storms in the area. In February, the borough council awarded a $25,320 contract for installation of the system to Commercial Recreation Specialists in Verona, Wisconsin. The contract does not include the athletic fields located at the three elementary schools and the middle school, Ciurciu said, because the school district was not able to fund installation at this time. But Ciurciu advised that the sirens have been located at the borough fields in such a way that they will be heard at all the schools, with the possible exception of the Colonial Road School. The sound of the siren at the McBride Field is also expected to be audible at the nearby Academy of the Most Blessed Sacrament field. According to Ciurciu, the borough uses the board of education fields and the Franklin Avenue Middle School uses the borough’s Pulis Avenue Recreation Center field for athletic programs. The lightning detection and warning system will consist of a lightning sensor, a lightning data receiver, fiber-optic cable, a tripod with mounting hardware and software for the system. The wireless siren system will consist of a key operated wireless transmitter, an antenna with coaxial cable, a power supply with battery backup and mounting hardware, an interface from transmitter to receiver, and a timer device to control the hours of strobe light operation. Strike Guard, the manufacturer of the lightning detection system, recommends servicing the components of the system every three years or as required. The borough will be responsible for routine maintenance. Strike Guard claims its product employs state-of-the-art technology and it monitors cloud, and cloud-to-ground lightning and provides signaling at user-set lightning activity thresholds. The company also states that its patented optical signal processing and proprietary optical-coincidence technology prevent false alarms. The lightning warning is communicated via lightning-proof fiber-optic cable to an independent data receiver and it delivers fully automatic alarm triggering with userset range categories, a 20 mile detection radius, no-false-alarm patented technology, and a sensor and communication self-test. Eighth grader Alex Khoury of Franklin Lakes recently received Tuxedo Park School’s Headmaster’s Cup Award from Headmaster Jim Burger. Founded in 1900, Tuxedo Park School is one of the oldest schools in the country specializing in pre-secondary education. 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