Danger and warning tapes for pipelines

Pipe and cable warning tapes.

A common use for tapes when it comes to buried pipes and cables too for that matter is the group of tapes known as warning tapes or detection tapes. These tapes are buried a few feet above the buried pipeline. In the event of the ground being excavated later, any digger will first come across the warning tape. On this plastic tape is a message usually warning that there is a pipeline below the tapes and sometimes contact details of the pipeline owner. This warning prevents the contractor from digging any deeper or at least being far more cautious so as not to damage the pipe.

There are versions of this tape that contain an electrical conductive wire which can be sensed by equipment above ground. This is helpful in locating the pipe in the future should it no longer be clear exactly where it runs and saves on excessive digging costs while trying to do maintenance.

Barrier and barricade warning tapes

Most construction sites are required to cordon off areas where it is dangerous for passers-by to walk. This is particular true when pipes are being laid in open trenches, which can be particularly dangerous for anyone unaware of the hole.

To alert people to the open holes or trenches and to help keep them from wandering into the danger area by mistake, contractors often use what is called barrier tape. It also goes by the name of danger tape, warning tape, barricade tape and bunting tape. The tape is a non-adhesive plastic tape with a message or warning sign printed on the one side. Typically it is tied between poles that surround the danger area and act as a simple and temporary barrier to alert passers-by that they should not enter the area.

The most common version of this tape is the red and white striped (chevron) tape that can be seen on road side construction sites and is also popular at any event where large numbers of the public are present. There are also similar types of these barrier tapes available in a variety of colour combinations, such as black/yellow, blue/white, green/white and so on. Some companies even use this as a branding opportunity and will have their company logo printed on the tape which is then on display to anyone passing by.

There are also varieties of this tape that will have warning messages displayed rather than the stripes. Some common messages are “Danger” or “Caution”. Sometimes it is necessary to have a more tailor made message explaining the nature of the pipe work being done. For example “Danger – Work on gas pipes in progress”.