FOA Guide 

Topic: Receiving Fiber Optic Cabling on Site 

Table of Contents: The FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics

Receiving Fiber Optic Cabling and Equipment on Site

Fiber Optic equipment and components are subject to damage by improper handling or storage and must be handled accordingly. 

Fiber optic cable, equipment and supplies should be scheduled for delivery to the work site as closely to the time of use as possible to minimize possible damage from other construction, weather or theft. Coordinating deliveries can be difficult so delivery to a staging area offsite or providing a locked storage container onsite should be arranged. When initially received, all fiber optic components should be carefully inspected for damage and tested for continuity or loss if damage is suspected.  Ensure that all components and parts have been shipped, received, match quantities ordered (e.g. fiber optic cable contains the number and type of fiber ordered and is the length ordered), and that any discrepancies or damaged goods are noted, the supplier notified and replaced as required.

Handling Fiber Optic Cables
Handle reels of fiber optic cable with care.  All reels, regardless of size or length, must have both ends of the cable available for the testing.  A fiber tracer or visual fault locator and bare fiber adapters can be used for continuity testing. 
The cable reels shall be moved carefully to avoid damage to the cable. Move small, lightweight spools of fiber optic cable by hand.  Move larger reels with appropriate lifting equipment or using two or more installers skilled in the moving operation.  Lifting equipment shall only move reels with a matched set of slings or chokers, attached to an appropriately sized piece of pipe inserted into the hole in the center of the reel.  Slings and chokers shall never be attached around the spooled cable area of the reel. 

Handling Terminated Cables And Patchcords
Systems using prefabricated cable assemblies (factory terminated cables) and patchcords require careful handling to prevent damage and contamination. The manufacturer should have packaged the assemblies carefully to prevent damage so they should not be removed from the packaging unless being tested before installation or being prepared for installation at the work site. Special care is required for connectors to prevent cable damage behind the connector by stress or kinking the cable. Protective caps (usually called "dust caps" because in the industry we joke about the fact that most of them are full of dust) should not be removed unless the cable is being tested or connected to other cables or devices. When dust caps are removed, the connector ferrules should be cleaned carefully and inspected before connecting to another cable or device.

See "Cleaning Fiber Optic Connectors" for more details.

All equipment and cabling shall be stored in a clean and dry location, protected from harsh environments such as extremes of cold and heat. Due to the value of the cable and potential for theft, all components should be in secure storage with guards provided when or where necessary.


(C)1999-2014, The Fiber Optic Association, Inc.