dangerous fan placement


This is a photo from an inspection I carried out last summer (July 2010). It had what I would call an O.M.G. (Oh My God) situation.

Can you spot it? In the photo all the lights are on, plus flashlights, plus the camera flash. It’s still hard to see.

I had led a party of 4 out of bright sunny daylight into this unlit basement.  As there was no switch by the door I was moving cautiously picking my way by flashlight.

I was hearing a sound I couldn’t identify at first, then I saw it.

THE GUILLOTINE: That’s what I called it to ensure that everyone waited until the lights were on and knew where this ‘guillotine’ was.

Three foot steel blades spinning at maximum speed!

No housing, no cage, no protection!

Right at neck-to-head height!

Yes. Its’ a fan. A ceiling fan! Normally mounted overhead in a large high ceiling room. Yet here it is hanging from the underside of the floor above, in the basement of this apartment building where all the tenants have storage lockers.

The ceiling height is about 6′ to 7′ so the fan blades are neck level for many people. So if you are shorter the good news is you don’t get decapitated, just an eye, nose, ear or major concussion.

The entrance is from an exterior basement walk out and the first light switch is about 10 feet in.

If you miss the switch and go a few feet further and turn towards the strange noise, you’ll walk right into it. That is if you don’t trip and fall on the junk on the floor. Then it won’t get you till you stand up.

O. M. G. indeed! (We found the switch, shut it down, stopped it, no one got hurt. On with the inspection.)

So stay safe, and have a great summer.

     Originally posted on my site last July 25 (2010) link via  Guillotine O.M.G. I’ve reposted this here to showcase this situation, one of the most dangerous I’ve encountered in years.



Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post