Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mr Inspector

A while ago I wrote about my fire investigation woes (see my April 15 post). If I'm not much of a fire investigator, I'm definitely not much of a fire inspector. I'm lousy at it actually, but I admire folks that are good inspectors. One old timer was reported to have x-ray vision. But seeing the problem is only the beginning. To be really good at inspections, you have to be an Enforcer. It doesn't do much good to say, "I noticed your smoke alarms don't work, the exit doors are chained shut, the corridors are blocked with stacks of gasoline cans, and there's marijuana growing in the basement . . . but I'm going to trust in the inherent goodness of humankind. I believe your conscience will awaken, and you will bring everything up to code."

That approach just doesn't seem to work. At least, not for me. You don't have to be an ogre . . . just give 'em a little tough love. "If you don't get that mess cleaned up, I'll bean you with this baseball bat!" Or something like that anyway. But I'm not good at tough love either.

There is the old in-your-face tactic. Put signs up everywhere so they can't ignore fire safety. Like this photo here:
fail owned pwned pictures
see more Fail Blog

Or this one:
fail owned pwned pictures
see more Fail Blog

You can see what happens to fire code offenders in the real world by clicking here.

My final word on inspections? Kudos to all you fire inspectors that are actually good at your jobs. If it weren't for you, we firefighters would be a lot busier. As for me, I'll do the best I can, and hope to compensate by using my nice-guy, educate-'em-into-compliance approach.

On another note, the July edition of Fire and EMS Quarterly is available on the Firefighting in Canada website now. Click here to see my contribution to the publication. I drew this cartoon to go along with the article:

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