Complex mechanisms and devices unnecessary unless the human element is considered in the plans developed

To those outside the fire protection fraternity, any significant expense such as a sprinkler installation or a fire hydrant system brings a sense of security that the risk of fire at that particular point has been reduced to a minimum. In fact, our security even then depends on that thin thread known as the human element.

A few months after installing a sprinkler system on a railway property at a cost of about twenty-seven thousand dollars, it was discovered that some heads had been removed and the holes plugged. When asked for the reason, it was explained that these particular heads were failing due to the heat, so it was best to plug them in.

In the same factory, the guard was questioned about his homework. He was above the average intelligence of his class, but when asked what he would do in case a sprinkler alarm went off, he replied, “Turn off the water, of course. Asked further as to why the company had gone to the trouble of installing sprinklers, if only to shut off the water when it opened, he replied that he had never thought about the subject.

The guard who frankly admits having seen a small fire or heard a suspicious noise but could not take the time to investigate because he “must have rang in his boxes” is undoubtedly too common to be cited. In a large factory, the watchman’s hours happen to overlap with those of the workshop fire chief. Discovering a small blaze, this guard, without raising any alarms, spent a considerable amount of time tracking down the chief to tell him about the fire, insisting that it was the chief’s job, not his, to switch off.

In another repair shop, a fire drill went perfectly, except for the fact that a certain colored carrier, who was supposed to bring a fire extinguisher to the scene of the action, did not show up. not presented. When questioned, he said he heard the alarm but did not respond because it was “not Saturday” (the usual day for fire drills).

All of these things, however, are not limited to the “base”. Imagine a master mechanic who used to relieve his well-trained workshop brigade with workers as soon as the fire was thought to be under control, so that the higher-ranked men did not have overtime.

We often think that the gasoline problem is solved when we provide a safety canister, but more than one man has been caught using his canister only for storage and cleaning in a bucket or bucket. bowl full of “gas”.

A printer in a large railroad hotel was discovered using his safety canister as ordered, but also keeping a glass bottle full of gasoline handy so he didn’t have to go out and to fill the container twice a week.

Many people don’t even appreciate the fact that a chemical fire extinguisher needs to be charged to be effective. In a post not belonging to the agency, a product such as soda and acid was found empty in a cupboard. The warden explained that it would freeze if it was full, so he was all set to charge it immediately in the event of a fire alarm.

A steamboat company had rented space in a large railway jetty. During the first inspection, several cardboard boxes were noticed nailed to the walls. Upon investigation, it turned out that they were soda and acid fire extinguishers, hung up thinking they were dry powder fire extinguishers.

Many other cases could be cited but they would all bring out the same point, that we only went part of the way when we simply provided the mechanical devices.

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