Keep Off the Roof and Other Things You Shouldn't Have to Say

One thinks the public has some common sense about their safety, such as not climbing onto the roof of a high rise building and trying to take a photo from a precarious perch. But this story from last week where a hotel guest fell into the smokestack after trying to snap a photo from the roof of the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Chicago illustrates the opposite. The man died from his injuries.

One thing that sticks with me is how in the world did these two (he was up there with his girlfriend) access the roof in the first place? According to news coverage, no complicated maneuvers were needed. The pair "took an elevator to the top floor and walked onto the rooftop deck, a restricted area, through an unsecured door." Whether the door was not locked intentionally or as an oversight is not explained, but I have to imagine that standard protocol would be to secure such access points.

It just highlights the importance of never underestimating what people might do and taking all appropriate steps to safeguard, even when it means keeping people safe from themselves. If you find yourself rationalizing a lack of action or protocol with the thought that "obviously, no one would ever..." just remember there's always someone out there that would.

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