Saturday, August 1, 2009

How Do You Spell Safety?

As the Safety Captain* of my library, I take every opportunity to investigate safety, er, opportunities. Why, just last week I was meeting with some other Safety Captains to discuss safety in our branches. As we talked about the importance of knowing that the emergency exit alarms are fully charged (they make a very shrill noise when opened), I began to investigate the little red fire alarm box next to me. Perhaps you've seen older alarms which require the breaking of glass to pull the alarm? This new-fangled alarm box has a nifty Plexiglas cover that you lift in order to access the alarm. Nice. But is the cover latched, or does it open easily? How simple would it be to figure out what to do in an emergency situation? This is what I wondered.

Did you know that the Plexiglas cover over little red fire alarm boxes are armed? When a person lifts that cover, a very shrill noise startles one's fellow Safety Captains, causing them to move immediately AWAY from the person who opened the Plexiglas cover. Yep.

Fast-forward to this afternoon. My brother and sister-in-law are here from the Midwest, and we took a nice little jaunt on a cute little ferry to Vashon Island. Ever vigilant, I...

No, I did not attempt to open any fire alarm covers. But I did take an interest in the instructions for the ferry's fire suppression system. The first step in dealing with a fire? Vacate the area! Get away! Go someplace safe! After that, work on putting out the flames.

It wasn't until I downloaded these photos that I really looked at the headline sign. Maybe spelling isn't terribly important when your first instruction is to get away from the fire. No one will stand there long enough to see that you didn't run the spellcheck before you made your pretty red sign. CO2 RELAESE -- a technical word, I'm sure.

*Not my official title, but the one to which I aspire.


K.M. Weiland said...

A Safety Captain and a Spelling Nazi... that's a dangerous combination, isn't it? ;)

Katharine said...

Well, not much of a Spelling Nazi, since I didn't catch that until I looked at the photo!