It is hard to believe nowadays that at one time the sun never set on the British Empire. In other words, that little island nation of sailors and merchants had grown into an empire that stretched around the globe. Of course it didn’t happen overnight and it certainly couldn’t have happened without men and women full of vigor and of stout courage.
They must be rolling in their graves now.
In a news report today from that nation formerly known as Great Britain comes a report that fire extinguishers are being removed from communal areas in flats (apartments buildings in American English) because they are considered a safety hazard. The hazard comes not from juvenile delinquents spraying the extinguishers in the faces of little children and old ladies. No, the hazard is that they will encourage people to use initiative and fight a fire.
The life-saving devices encourage untrained people to fight a fire rather than leave the building, risk assessors in Bournemouth decided.
There are fears that their recommendation, which has seen the extinguishers ripped out of several private, high-rise flats in the town, could set a national precedent.
Under the Fire Safety Order of 2005, fire assessments must be carried out to ‘eliminate or reduce risk as is reasonably practical’.
While private citizens have challenged this and residents are fearful of fire as a result of their removal, some are actually defending this move.
Dorset Fire and Rescue defended the move, saying: ‘Obviously, in some cases, an extinguisher could come in useful but, with new building regulations, every escape route should be completely fireproof.’
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents backed their removal because different extinguishers should be used on different types of fire.
I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised at the creeping nanny-statism of the UK. After all, if you defend yourself against armed intruders with even a piece of wood, you’ll probably do more time than the intruder.