15 March 2007

Do the Words 'Fire Hazard' Mean Nothing To You?

To be filed under: things I miss about the USA.

Let's ignore the fact that most shops and pubs in Poland have entrance doors which open inward, making them into death traps should the need arise for the patrons to leave in a hurry. Let's forget that I can't remember the last time I saw a fire extinguisher in a public building, let alone a smoke alarm.

Leaving all that aside, let's examine the stairwell in the building where I work. Not the main stairwell, but the secondary, smaller stairwell at the end of the hall. The one I use just about every day, because it's closer to the office I visit every day, to check my mail, collect classroom keys, etc.

Each floor has a door leading to this stairwell. The doors are usually left wide open. Except for the past two days, when the door to the 6th floor hallway has been shut, because there are two small tables stacked on top of each other on the landing, so the door will only open halfway.

In the interests of full disclosure, let me reveal the fact that I spent a few years working as an usher, so I'm trained to notice when an exit may be blocked. I was also raised by "Mr. Safety," so I sometimes see danger where others might not.

Regardless, I don't think I'm overreacting when I think, every time I see the tables on the landing, "If there were a fire right now, many people would not be able to escape. These tables should not be here. What the hell are tables doing in the stairwell???"

And then I remember where I am.

1 comment:

Tarewyn said...

ah...your former house manager nods approvingly......He says hi too.