Stating the Obvious

I recently spent some time in a government office. While in the usual back and forth through the front door, to the bathroom and so forth, I observed that they had a surprising number of signs that stated the obvious.

They seemed, like so many preventative measures, to attempt to indemnify the government against potential legal action. They amused me a little, so I snapped some photos. Each one is really mundane by itself, but the volume of them was a little overwhelming.

This one was on the inside of the mens’ room door. I wonder how I’ve survived the hundreds (thousands?) of sign-free swinging doors I’ve confronted in my life.


Slippery When Wet

Use Handrail

Ironically, I had to hold the door open to snap a photo of this one:

Do Not Hold Door Open

Your Access Card?

Here’s one more photo from the same office. These packages were attached to the underside of each desk in the conference room:

Worrying Packages Under the Desk

I gather they’re individual disaster preparedness kits. I didn’t look too closely, but they contain a filter mask, a little bottle of water and whistle, among other things.

I only discover them because I accidentally kicked one under the desk. I’m not sure I’d like to be reminded of my potential doom every time I took a meeting.


  1. I’m sure many are to avoid lawsuits, and many (don’t hold the door open, remember your access card) come from harsh experience.

    I’ve noticed that, in general, there are more warnings on more things in the U.S. than here in Canada, likely because of the culture of litigation. Then again, some of the things that have warnings there (such as prescription pharmaceutical ads, stores that sell both alcohol and firearms, no-job-needed mortgages) are simply prohibited here.

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