The fire alarm at number 7, Marlborough Buildings rang loud and clear at 3a.m jolting me from my night’s rest. I got up immediately and was pacing around like a trapped Pacman to and fro my door to the kitchen, unsure of what I was supposed to do first. To grab my mobile phone, slip on my slippers and get out or to turn off whatever was triggering it.
A peep in the kitchen showed no indication of overcooked item, and I don’t know what or where the switch for the fire alarm was (is there supposed to be one?). My housemate came out and said we were supposed to get out so I went back into the room to put on my glasses, take the phone and keys. Just as I got to the first landing of the stairs the alarm was switched off so I returned to my room, to the bed, under the duvet.
Eyes shut, but not fully asleep, I thought what would happen if I was in a very, very tall building on the 62nd floor and a fire breaks out several floors beneath. The fire escape staircase is the standard exit route. Then I imagined if there were poles like the ones in fire brigades’ headquarters where the officers can conveniently slip down onto the brigade trucks when a situation arises.
To slip down a pole 62 floors high is an opportunity to slip to death, your bare hands would be blistered and you’ll need to organise some sort of human traffic if a single pole is to connect all the rest of the floors together.
Why not have lengths of fibre-glass or carbon steel ropes and sets of harness so you can abseil down the side of the building? Maintenance would be a nightmare and total rope length for the capacity of the occupants of the building multiplied by the height of the building might extend from South China Sea to the Indian Ocean. And training would be required before handling the equipments to minimise casualty in the escape process.
The next dream was something related to HAZOP and safety mechanisms and procedures in the engineering industry. I vaguely remembered some step change, Laplace transform, rearranging to get the transfer function and process gain, inverse Laplace. I might have done some calculations in my dreams.
Exams begin on Monday afternoon and as composed I may appear to be, my confidence is a fraction of that of the particle size of a dust.
Time to crrrrraaaaaaaaaaammmmmmm!
God bless me, God bless us all.