“Street furniture” is a term which is used to describe the specifically designed enclosures which are positioned in exposed areas in order to protect and secure critical equipment that is used in a variety of industries. Also known as “street cabinets,” these enclosures have been designed to protect specific types of equipment that is used in processes that require the equipment to be positioned in areas in which it could very well be damaged by inclement weather, animals or vandalism. There are numerous industries that rely upon the equipment that is positioned in the field, much of which is at street level, and require it to sit at a level where it can best do its job, but also be easily damaged by human interaction. No matter why a particular piece of street furniture is in use, it is a necessary component to the ongoing system functionality the industry it serves. The main characteristic that makes street furniture unique is that it is specifically designed to keep all forms of potential damage from the outside at a minimum. Because the damage can occur from a wide variety of sources, the manufacturers of street furniture do their best to engineer an enclosure which will prevent all forms. The equipment which is housed inside of the street furniture has multiple values. The actual costs for repair and replacement of the equipment is the most obvious value worth protecting, but system outages that can be caused by equipment damage at street level must also be considered. This is why street furniture is considered such an important part of the system, and why so much time and effort goes into the manufacture and installation of specific street furniture for a specified purpose.
While there are many different configurations of street furniture, as well as many different varieties, it is generally found to have a few common characteristics. One of the most obvious is that it must be constructed of the material that is resistive to electricity. This is because exposed elements can be impacted by lightning strikes or damage from the grid. The enclosure must not be able to conduct the electrical power surge so as not to impact the equipment that lies within. An additional consideration is the climate controlled interior which will allow for the adequate exchange of the air from the inside to the outside, creating a situation where the equipment itself does not overheat due to the fact that it is operating in a closed environment. One of the specific areas of potential impact that is critical to address is the area where cables move from the inside of the street furniture to the outside. For communication and power and be able to flow freely into the internal equipment, there must be a point at which these cables enter the street furniture itself. These areas provide an opportunity for animals to enter for nesting, and as well as a point where moisture can enter. Effective grommets as well as other forms of insulating material must be used at these weak points to effectively seal the unit from the outside. Street furniture is all around us and is allowing for the ongoing services that we use every day. The next time you see a box, think about what might be inside.