Tuesday, August 06, 2013

I Saw The Devil Smiling

All personnel evacuate the building.  This is not a drill.  Evacuate the building and report to your assigned areas along the fence!

OK, let me back up a bit.  I was at work today, brazing away...wait, let me back up a bit more...

For those of you who don't know, I work in a facility that manufactures evaporator coils for air conditioning units.  I am a sub-assembly brazer, which means I use a propylene flame and a silver alloy brazing rod to join copper components into pre-specified assemblies.  Those header assemblies are then brazed by someone else onto the evaporator coil.

So, I was at work today, brazing away, when all of the sudden I heard screaming and everyone took off running.  I looked over, and the gas regulator under the assembly line was engulfed in a big ball of flame.

"Cool!" was my first thought.  Then I thought, "I might want to move away from this just a bit."

There really wasn't any danger, as one of my co-workers had already hit the emergency shutoff switch, and only the residual gas in the lines was still burning. 

Group Leader Fernando calmly walked over, got the fire extinguisher, and put the fire out. 

That's when Production Superintendent Jonathan ran over and gave the order to evacuate until they were sure the fire was completely out.  I guess better safe than sorry.  I remember when I was on second shift and the same thing happened.  They just handed out dust masks and told us to keep on working.  There really isn't all that much in there that is flammable. 

The biggest danger was to the guy who was closest to the regulator when the fire started.  Or as he put it,

I saw the Devil smiling.  

And that was my excitement for the day.  After that, who needs TV?

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