"Expect the Unexpected"

On July 16, I wrote about disaster preparedness. My number one suggestion was “expect the unexpected.” Apparently, BP didn’t as this story (subscription may be required) from The Wall Street Journal indicates.

A critical alarm system that should have warned workers of danger aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig had been disabled before the rig erupted into flames on April 20, the vessel’s chief electrician testified Friday at a federal hearing into the accident.
Michael Williams, an employee of Transocean Ltd., the company that owned the rig, said the general alarm system aboard the Deepwater Horizon had been “inhibited.” It was intended to automatically sound an alarm warning workers to move immediately out of harm’s way.
But Mr. Williams said the automatic system had been switched off because Transocean rig managers “did not want people woken up at 3 a.m. with false alarms.” Instead, the rig-wide alarm had to be triggered manually—and never sounded.

No one — no one – expects a fire or other disaster. That’s why we have warning systems. But, they can’t do their job if they are disabled, without power, etc.  Keep fresh batteries in the smoke alarm, keep your seat belt fastened while seated (post below). If you missed my suggestions the first time, the post is here.

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