'T is a death trap!
for auditors, certainly
"I'm just here to do the audit," a weedy bloke says, poking his head nervously into Mission Control. "What audit?" the PFY says, reading my mind. "The safety audit – surely they told you about it?" "No, nothing," the PFY responds. "Ah," the Weed says. "Well, I've got a checklist of all the accidents that have occurred in …
...but I'll just put a surge through the system to be on the safe side...". Genuine quote from genuine PAT-tester, as reported to me by our FM department. Followed by genuine dead server. I should note that the guy had stated that he was finished with the server room, swore blind there was nothing else to do there and then surged it AFTER I'd left the building. Cnut.
PAT testers aren't much brighter than Health and Safety inspectors in my experience.
PAT tester: Put the labels on the desks... and had a master key to the server room from the estates department... but not for very long.
H&S drone: Told us to replace our rather expensive surge protection sockets within IT with their approved sockets (Metal, no surge protection, but they don't melt if there's an inferno in the office...). Yes, I asked if we could have surge protection on ours. His reply was 'Why do you need that?'.
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I'm sure I remember reading somewhere about an organisation that had reported 3,000 workplace accidents within the course of a year.
The organisation? The Health and Safety Executive.
So H&S inspectors falling victim to "accidents" at the BOFH's workplace doesn't surprise me in the slightest. It's also deliciously ironic since the inspector claimed the workplace was a "deathtrap to the uninitiated" yet conclusively proved that for all his words, he was uninitiated himself.
Of course, when there's only one halon release left, they'll presumably entice The Boss down into the server room, so creating another vacancy for the managerial equivalent of a redshirt...
Halon itself isn't significantly toxic. You need the fire to produce the interesting chemicals such as Phosgene.
If I were the H&S bod, I'd explain how I have a cousin who sells the sorts of respirator needed for protection, and advise the BofH/PFY to get the gear and go on a proper training course.
No. This is not in fact how a Halon system works. What you're describing is a CO2, Nitrogen or similar noble gas system. Halon works by chemically binding the free radicals as they occur inside the fire, similar to how oxygen reacts with them. This effectively poisons a fire while (in a properly designed system) remaining far below immediately toxic levels.
Halon 1211 is typically only used in hand extinguishers because of its higher toxicity compared to Halon 1301, which is used in room flooding systems. Toxicity of the latter is almost exclusively caused by reactions at very high temperatures which shouldn't occur in your typical server room fire because the Halon system will put the fire out before it gets that hot. Breathing gear is only required when reentering the room because of the combustion products and the side effects of the halon 1301 (Which include giddiness and impaired perception. Not things you want when inspecting fire damages, especially not if there might still be a risk of reignition)
So staying in a room when the halon flood system activates, while disorienting, is unlikely to actually be very hazardous to your health. That said, the BofH's system is probably dumping enough halon in there to flood out the oxygen. Never trust a system designed and operated by the BofH and his PFY.
He could have had mission control shut down for two weeks, while he and the PFY work from the Bahama's on double pay + expenses + exceptional hours payments due to the time zone differences.
Then he gets all the fun of ordering shiny new deathtraps to replace the existing one's.
The 3-finger salute is something you traditionally give to a WINDOWS(tm) box not a Linux box which prefers the more graceful 'shutdown -r'...
... although in the PFY's case I suspect he would spend q few enjoyable hours repeatedly running 'shutdown -k' on the accounts server and watching the drones scramble to save their precioussess...
"The 3-finger salute is something you traditionally give to a WINDOWS(tm) box not a Linux box "
Actually it's a generic PC thing - 3 finger salute works during POST too you know - it wasn't invented by M$
Every Linux box I've used for the past 10 Years+ has had CTRL-ALT-DEL mapped to either "shutdown -h now" or "shutdown -r now"
Saves you having to logon see.