Otterman speaks... (2003-2007)
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Otterman speaks...

Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : travel * museum * cycling * Singapore Naturalist * science * kakis * mangroves * movies * mac and the internet * meow * NUS * life in Singapore * lit * world *

Mon 16 Jul 2007

Fire alarm!!

Category : NUS

The ear-piercing din of the fire alarm shattered a quiet morning last week with such great force it left us in o doubt about what to do - Swee Hee was out the door in a second, with myself a second later somewhat guiltily, for I had grabbed my computer bag with the Mac Book Pro in it. Oh well, if the museum did go up in flames, I'd want to live-blog it to celebrate its fine demise.

After all its in our ancestry. Then they can do paintings like this one later:

I caught up with Swee Hee as he had scanned Chemistry for the sight or smell of flames or smoke. Had he detected any, we'd head out the rear staircase or even up the ridge. Since Chemistry, NUS Science Library and Raffles Museum are all adjacent to each other, the potential mix of chemical, alcohol and books is best avoided.

There should not be any time delays for staff as I'd had all the relevant doors fitted with self-locking locks. So essentially the philosophy I had discussed with staff (which they readily agreed to) is to "abandon ship," much like Raffles and co. had done with the Fame, an to do so quickly as possible. No heroics about saving data or specimens. We can always poke through the ashes later, make grand proclamations about rebuilding the museum (much like Wayne Manor will be in the next Batman movie) and inform the sytematic world that they are about to have lots of fun designating neotypes.

Swee Hee and I walked down the stairs quickly and were out Science Drive 2 where we we learnt this had been a fire drill for the Chem block as we had suspected. The alarm for our block had been triggered accidentally. Still, the din was impossible so we sat at Spinelli's and accused Maz of triggering the alarm so that he could sell more coffee. And then had a meeting.

Eventually the remaining museum staff emerged (and we mentally ticked them of the attendance list; everyone was out that day so it was easy) and then Chemistry staff and students trickled out. They were certainly nonchalant about it. I guess they knew it was a fire drill, hence the difference.

But where were Science Library staff and students? Well, I found out today that library staff had quickly sought verification and found out about the "false alarm." Then they made an announcement to alert users they needn't evacuate. How about that for customer care?! So if a Science librarian ever asks you to leave your things behind and get out, get moving!

I was happy though. This proved two things - the museum fire alarm was working, and my conviction about the intensity of a real alarm was true. Finally, my unease over the 1998 incident has been put to rest.

Posted at 1:07PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .