Search this site:


June 3, 2006 12:03 AM

Broken: Fire extinguisher placement

Michael Champlin writes in:

While shopping at my local JC Penny store I noticed that there looked to be a missing fire extinguisher.


After looking around, I found it tucked away behind the wall.


If a fire were to break out, someone would try and look for an extinguisher, and they would see the sign for the extinguisher, and then try and follow the arrow on the sign. Since there is no extinguisher under the arrow, one would probably think there was no extinguisher available and move on.

They should place the extinguisher under the arrow on the wall as the sign suggests instead of behind the wall and concealed by jeans.


lol i see stuff like this all the time

Posted by: edward at June 3, 2006 12:17 AM

at least the sign wasn't behind the post... then it woule be completly useless.

Posted by: Horatio at June 3, 2006 12:34 AM

Maybe put "behind this wall" signage below the arrow?

Posted by: James at June 3, 2006 03:11 AM

Yes, this is truly and surely BROKEN. It's a danger to human life!

Posted by: SF37 at June 3, 2006 08:39 AM

Are you people kidding? This makes perfect sense. Jeans sold at JC Penny have little fine print that says: CAUTION, these jeans are extremely flammable and may ignite at any time when subjected to heat or friction. Keep a fire extinguisher as close as possible.

End of sarcasm. Seriously, this is very, very broken, especially considering the number of little things that are supposed to be a hazard during fire... if putting something in an aisle is bad (I guess it blocks evacuation or something of the sort), concealing a fire extinguisher is a monumental safety issue.

Posted by: Alcas at June 3, 2006 08:49 AM

Wow, that is truly broken. I mean, who wants to look through flaming jeans to find a fire extinguisher?

Posted by: Qwerty at June 3, 2006 10:10 AM

I think the fire inspector might have something to say about this one.

Posted by: Loren Pechtel at June 3, 2006 11:54 AM

Can anyone please tell me when the last time a fire extinguisher was even used in a department store fire (not that I can remember one)? No one is going to stick around and put it out.

Posted by: Beware at June 3, 2006 02:05 PM

Even though it's very dangerous what JC Penny's employees did, it was probably done because the original placement of the extinguisher caused it to be consistantly knocked to the floor and and interferred with the flow of customer traffic...or the wall on the sign side was too weak to support the weight of the extinguisher.

Posted by: Spruance at June 3, 2006 04:18 PM

Oh, yeah. That fire extinguisher is so huge that they had to get guys out with orange flashlights to direct traffic around and away from that particular wall.

Seriously though, I don't think the extinguisher stuck out farther from the wall than the rack of jeans hanging near it.

Posted by: that'll_do_pig at June 3, 2006 04:42 PM


eek, who thought bright, annoying pink was a good wall color? Oh and out of curiousity, has anyone else notice the drastic fall of quality from this store in the last 5-10 years?

Posted by: nobody you know at June 4, 2006 12:21 AM

Having worked in several department stores (including Penney's) I would have to agree that nobody would stick around to fight a fire. The fire department would be called immediately and everyone would be evacuated. There's just no reason to put yourself at risk that way. Let the firefighters do their jobs. And the associates would be told that by the supervisors as well.

So this is only broken in theory. In reality, the fire extinguisher is not going to get used no matter what.

Also, how hard is it for people to notice the second "E" in Penney? It's been staring at you for 104 years now. It's not "Penny." It's ridiculous how many people haven't noticed that.

and finally, in reply to the above poster, no, I haven't noticed any quality problems in recent years, and I buy at least half of my clothes there, as well as shoes, furniture and jewelry. Sorry to hear that you have had a bad experience.

Posted by: Dan at June 4, 2006 06:55 AM

Yeah! 'Bout time someone got my name right...

Posted by: James Cash Penney at June 4, 2006 07:19 PM

I almost saw an extinguisher get used in a dept- store. I was a kid, mom and I were in a store at christmas time and I noticed wisps of smoke coming from a wreath. We told a clerk. One clerk grabbed an extinguisher while another clerk unplugged the lights. The wreath stopped smoking.

Posted by: Timm at June 5, 2006 02:20 AM

The one thing the original poster forgot to mention is that the store is located in Metropolis. The sign is for Kryptonians who want to save the day without giving away their secret identity. They simply look through the wall to see the fire extinguisher. Then they would use it to put out the fire (and get a scoop on the story for the next day's edition).

Posted by: Kal El at June 5, 2006 09:23 AM

I bet Spruance is right. (Not that it in any way makes it okay to hide fire extinguishers in an alcove.) One of the fire extinguishers where I work seems to have been haphazardly screwed into a wall, with no one bothering to look for a stud; over time, it'll just start to break the drywall. It's right by a bathroom entrance, so I'm sure people bump into it often, which is what causes it to eventually rip itself out of the wall mount.

Of course, the solution is to mount it properly, not to hide it somewhere out of the way.

Posted by: Matt at June 5, 2006 11:28 AM

"The wreath stopped smoking."

Good for the wreath. Did it go on to live a long life? J/K

I work in property management. I am sure someone tried to make an insurance claim because they ran into it and required a band aid.

I kid you not. We get claims when someone falls down in our parking lot from their own clumsiness and want compensation for a band aid.

Posted by: JAC at June 5, 2006 12:10 PM

I guess it is broken, but did anyone notice how small the work 'Extinguisher' is? From more than 10 feet away, it looks like a sign pointing to a FIRE!

Posted by: Willie and the poor boys at June 5, 2006 03:05 PM

I agree with nobody_you_know: That wall paint is BROKEN!!!!!!!!!!

(man, I'm so jealous that I didn't notice that the first time!)

Posted by: that'll_do_pig at June 5, 2006 05:59 PM

I guess they assume that most people have X-Ray vision XD LOL! Yeah, it's broken alright.

Posted by: Another guy named Alex B. at June 6, 2006 06:33 PM

I find it *astonishing* that people would say the placement of this fire extinguisher is NOT broken because the employees "would never use it."

I'm a firefighter. Correctly-placed, properly-working smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and emergency exits (see Morgan Harris-Warrick's post...) save lives and property. That's all there is to it.

Posted by: jackson at June 8, 2006 03:58 PM

Comments on this entry are closed

Previous Posts: