Danger of Death

My God, how these stupid signs annoy me.

Death is the potential outcome, not the hazard. There can exist the danger of slipping, the danger of falling, even the danger of loosing once sense of perspective, but there can’t exist the danger of death because death isn’t dangerous. Death may possibly result from the risky activity being undertaken – the risky activity that we actually need warning about – but death isn’t going to cause our death, that’s just silly. And as all activities carry some risk of death (apparently an inordinate number of people die each year just going for a poo) should I have a sign on my toilet warning guests that defecating in my facility may well be the last thing they do?

Obviously the health and safety wonks who concocted this sign were desperately keen to impress on us just exactly how dangerous the area around this sign is and, ‘Danger of electrocution’ just wouldn’t cut it. ‘What’s worse than electrocution?’ they thought. Death is! Yes of course, ‘Danger of death’ it must be.

And my ire could so easily have been averted. Three extra words is all it would take to make the sign scan properly. ‘Danger of being electrocuted to death’.


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