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Old 26th July 2007, 11:01   #1
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Default A missing Cotter Pin and saved by a whisker - Please read the Appeal at the end

Well, it was a not so typical Dinner session that my family consisting of my wife and 2 sons (elder aged 11 and younger aged 5) sat for on the 24th of July. Not so typical for, normally we would be spread out around the house. The kids would be having their dinner in front of the TV, as I would be on Antiquity at the balcony.

That evening, I chose to eat with my family and hit the sack earlier and had requested the boys to switch of the TV and accompany me for supper on the dining table. Surprisingly the boys were happy to oblige and joined up. Half way into our meal, my wife went into the kitchen to fetch something and all of a sudden the ceiling fan just falls onto the dining table.

I was shocked to see the ceiling fan sitting spot on the center of the round dining table. I looked at my sons in a daze. Realize that my younger son has a small scratch on his forehead and the elder one, who had his hand on the table at that moment, had a pain in his left ring finger and little finger.

Me, I was more dazed and I lost control of myself on the thought that anything could have happened, for as far as I know a rotating fan normally doesn't fall straight. If it had taken a slightly arced path, I shudder to think what could have happened.

On further investigation I noticed that the fan did not have the Cotter pin provision on the mounting bolt and that caused this incident. Wonders of all is the round glass did not even crack on this impact. 12mm thick but still not a small crack. Thank god for that, for, if it had broken it could have sent shrapnels around.

The Appeal: I humbly request you to check at your residences and places of work whether the Fans are mounted alright and whether they have the cotter pins in place. the electricians who fit these do not realize the dangers caused due to the lack of it. Please inform the importance of the same to your friends, relatives, acquaintances etc., of the same.

Last edited by suren181 : 26th July 2007 at 11:03.
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Old 26th July 2007, 11:10   #2
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That was quite a lucky escape, suren..!! I shudder to think of what would have happened had the fan not fallen straight, or even if the table glass cracked !

Hope the kids are fine now.
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Old 26th July 2007, 11:11   #3
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Thank god that you all are safe, I have heard of these kind of accidents before also.
Also try to see very closely to make sure that glass top of dining is fine, Be sure it does not create any problem in future.

Dine Safe
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Old 26th July 2007, 11:16   #4
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The kids are absolutely safe, thank god for that. Yes, shall be sure to dine safe from now on. Incidentally have been using a pedestal fan, since then .
After check if the grill on the fan is locked tightly, the fan blade itself is locked tightly and whether the plug, socket etc aren't loose etc. Guess i'm just being paranoid, but still.
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Old 26th July 2007, 11:17   #5
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Thank God everyone is safe. Going to check all the fans today.
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Old 26th July 2007, 11:19   #6
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Woh, that was a close one Suren, hope your sons are fine now. Take care and be safe.
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Old 26th July 2007, 11:49   #7
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Thank god you all are safe, my heart was pounding hard after the second para.

I am going to check all the fans in my home now itself.

raj.
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Old 26th July 2007, 11:54   #8
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That was indeed a lucky escape. Not to take away from the importance of safety, for what its worth, falling fans don't cause much damage. A friend had one fall bang ON his head during the college exams , and he was dazed but recovered in half an hour to complete the exam.
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Old 26th July 2007, 12:03   #9
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Given that ceiling fans are almost standard in every Indian room, and that many of them are rickety and old, I'm amazed not to hear of more accidents.

I'm so glad to hear of your lucky escape from injury. You don't tell us if the remaining part of your meal escaped!

It's astonishing to know that the glass is so strong!

Another thing about cotter pins is that they are not intended to be reused, but I'm sure many of us do --- certainly we didn't think to fit new pins on the fans moved from our old house.
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Old 26th July 2007, 12:17   #10
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Baap re... that was bad. I really have lost count of the no. of times I have seen or heard of these falling ceiling fans.

My aunt in kolkata had this happen to them once. Old house, old fan translates into added risk. On top of that the bed was bang below the fan. It was a weekend and the family was chatting and in general lazing away on the bed. All of a sudden the fan decided it had enough of hanging around and left its perch. The rotating fan also changed its course while falling. And landed bang in the middle of them on the bed, with bent blades. Amazingly it did not touch anyone. Must have been a lottery! My uncle recovered first, very casually picked up the fan and kept it on the other side of the bed on the ground with a rhetorical "its going to be damned hot tonight in this room" Lol.

The second time I saw it happen in Lucknow, in a college where I had gone to write exam. The century old rickety fan with bent blades turning torturously was thankfully over a vacant bench at the back. All of a sudden one of the blades just fell off. Its was like a sword. Fell straight on the bench, vertically, and then bounced off on the floor.

I am very skeptical in general of these
* old ceiling fans.
* any non greased fan that makes whizzing noise while turning or moves laterally as well.
* any fan that seems to be running at F1 speeds is always a suspect to me.

Call me paranoid but I have seen a few of these cases and in general I am a bit circumspect about something hanging over my head and rotating at high speeds.
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Old 26th July 2007, 12:23   #11
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Wow , thank god all of you are safe Suren.That was one lucky escape
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Old 26th July 2007, 13:36   #12
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Thank God You and your family is safe. Damn these electricians.

Pardon my questions, where do we locate these Cotter Pins. I do clean the fans at home every month because of dust settleing on them ,but never heard anything loose or something

Yes, but one of my FAN does go F1 ZOOM

Thanks

Ram P
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Old 26th July 2007, 14:07   #13
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That was one lucky escape to you and your family. Thank your lucky stars.
Going to check all the fans in my house tonight.
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Old 26th July 2007, 14:17   #14
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Oooooopsssssssssssssssssssssssssss..
am checking all the fans today evening.

Suren, You must really be praying every day before meal!
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Old 26th July 2007, 16:44   #15
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At the attachment point to the ceiling (and at the fan end?) the fan is held by a bolt. The bolt should have a nut and a lock nut to prevent the nut coming off. There should be a cotter pin --- also called a split pin passed through the bolt, with its two tails bent back, so that even if both nuts come undone they cannot come off the end of the bolt.

I guess there other potential points of failure too....
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