Good Place to Start In the April Editor's Viewpoint "Justice & Politickin', Crockett-Style," Mr. Crockett notes he chooses not to let his children listen to TV and radio programs such as Howard Stern. Talk about control—he must be very good at it if he can control everything his kids listen to.


Good Place to Start

In the April Editor's Viewpoint "Justice & Politickin', Crockett-Style," Mr. Crockett notes he chooses not to let his children listen to TV and radio programs such as Howard Stern. Talk about control—he must be very good at it if he can control everything his kids listen to. And per Mr. Crockett's rhetorical question about whether his column is next in line for censorship—I think that would be a good place to start.

Anonymous in St. Louis

Capable of Choosing

The panic after the Super Bowl [following Janet Jackson exposing her breast, which incited the U.S. House of Representatives to pass a measure authorizing the FCC to levy extreme fines in cases of broadcast indecency] was completely out of line and frankly, disgusting. As far as Howard Stern, anyone who has listened to him cannot possibly be surprised by anything he says. Like you, I just have no interest. Content control is an editorial/publishing decision, not a governmental problem. Until the time I am denied the right to switch channels, turn off my radio or turn to the next page, I need no help in editing my intake, nor do I deem anyone else capable of that job.

Walter E. Wallis, P.E., Palo Alto, Calif.

LD the Greater Concern

In regards to "Putting a Stop to Scalding and Thermal Shock" (CSE 04/04, p. 17), no one can disagree that scalds are serious; I am a Shriner and know first-hand how bad burns are. But one must balance scalds with Legionnaires Disease and other pathogens. If we are to control LD and the other even scarier pathogens in water, we must shoot for 140°F-plus temperatures—no ifs, ands or buts.

If we assume that there are 1.5 deaths per state per day due to LD, we are looking at close to 28,000 per year. How many are scalded to death? The technology is here and has been since the early 1990s. It is time to revisit the codes and pay attention to what is, rather than what if.

Frank Rosa

Treat Water Before Hand

I have a few thoughts regarding April's Codes and Standards on LD. With today's technology, why not raise the water temperature to the required temperature to kill all the microorganisms of concern, then allow the water to be cooled to the desired temperature in such a way as to capture its heat to use where needed, when needed? In cases where heat recovery does not exist, allow the water to cool below the accepted usable temperature. I realize this could increase initial costs, but surely the benefits outweigh these expenses.

Richard Young, Florence, KY.

Check Sprinklers, Too

CSE's April 1, 2004, webcast on fire safety could leave the impression that passive fire-protection systems are more prone to failure from human intervention than are automatic sprinkler systems. It is true that in passive systems, fire doors may be propped open and penetrations through fire-resistive construction may not be adequately protected during retrofits. But sprinkler heads have their weaknesses, too. They might be painted or used as hangers; items may be stacked so high under sprinklers as to prevent proper performance; and maintenance personnel may disrupt the water supply to sprinklers to repair leaks.

Routine maintenance and inspection are required for sprinkler systems to perform properly. In fact, according to NFPA 25, Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems , control valves without electronic supervision should be checked on a weekly basis. NFPA 25 also suggests full sprinkler system inspections four times a year by a knowledgeable professional. Some jurisdictions require even more frequent inspections. And after any change to a building or the use of a building, an analysis should be done to determine if the sprinkler system is adequate. Similarly, even if a building and its use remain the same, changes in the water supply or changes to equipment in the sprinkler system necessitate a system re-evaluation.

Clearly, human intervention is not only a factor influencing the proper performance of automatic sprinklers—it's a requirement. Of course, no system can be expected to be effective 100% of the time. That's why there's a need for both passive and active systems.

Steve Szoke, Director of Codes and Standards, Portland Cement Assn., Skokie, Ill.

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