Smother-poles

smother_poles

Long lengths of bamboo sporting squares of cut-out roofing on the ends are used to fight fires by enabling whoever is wielding it to smother the source of flame without getting too close.

The prominent display of these smothering devices, combined with their vibrant paint scheme, hopefully (according to their makers) keeps the importance of fire-prevention at the forefront of the minds of passers-by – a bit of passive advertising for preventative behavior change. What other messages does the open storage of fire-fighting equipment send? Consider the level of participation in the fire-fighting process that such a number and prominence of these tools implies. Consider how universal red is as the color of choice for “important fire-related message” – except for those green emergency exit signs in China.

The hooks affixed to the bar in front most likely once held buckets, meant for dumping sand on top of a fire, though the increased number of uses for a bucket as opposed to a fire smotherer unfortunately makes them riper for repurposing in other (non-firefighting) applications.

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