Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Back to human factors engineering 101

I was filling my Jeep up with gas and noticed the dummy in front of me was doing the same thing, but didn't have the common sense to turn of his engine.  I'm sure it was important for him to save the five second of his precious life that it would have taken to turn the car off and then turn it back on.  I also couldn't help but notice all of the signs that clearly said "turn off your car".  Anyhow as I was sitting there wondering what would happen if an errant spark ignited his car (and almost certainly my car), I started looking around for a fire extinguisher.  The good news was that there was one with my grasp.  The bad news was ...   well, I'll let the photo speak for itself.

So in care you can't tell, the fire extinguisher conveniently includes a small hammer that will allow you to break the protective class and access the extinguisher itself.  And that takes us to the human factors issue here.  As you may have noticed, the hammer is behind the glass.   I guess the way this is suppose to work is you break the glass with your hand, or hopefully some other hard object; you then grab the hammer ...  shatter the glass shards into even smaller pieces ?   Knock yourself unconscious ?   And then grab the extinguisher and put out the fire.   Oh well, it made me smile and the dummy in front of me managed to fill up his car without causing an explosion.

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