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Thread: Fire Hydrant Signs - consultation

  1. #101
    Alan White Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by keehotee View Post
    It doesn't matter how they are worded
    Of course it matters how they're worded, not only to ensure that the intended meaning is conveyed but also because, if worded correctly, the problem of "a cache listing site using the GAGB guidelines as rules" doesn't arise.

    Example:
    "Cache containers should not be placed inside a polythene bag."
    This can be interpreted as meaning either that caches must not be in a bag or that it's better if they're not. Thus a listing site can choose to use that rule to deny publication. If the intention is to discourage the use of plastic bags then the wording might be: "The use of plastic bags to wrap caches is discouraged". A listing site would then have a difficult task of using that guideline to refuse the cache. Thus the problem of listing sites misunderstanding GAGB is very much GAGB's problem and is easily solved by greater clarity in the wording.

  2. #102
    Alan White Guest

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    I'm going to try to move the consultation forward by proposing some rules/guidelines/whatever for discussion.

    1. (No rule/guideline is required.)*
    2. Caches must not be placed on, in or as safety equipment such as fire hydrants, life-saving rings etc
    3. Imaginative and innovative hides greatly enhance geocaching by adding to its variety and such hides are encouraged. However, do give careful consideration to the appropriateness of the hiding place, particularly with regard to the safety of non-cachers. For example, a cache hidden on or inside a fake gas valve or fake fire hydrant could endanger others and such hides are best avoided.

    Feel free to discuss, vote on, modify or add to these suggestions.

    * I deliberately haven't attempted to quantify why a rule might not be required. You might it think it unnecessary because it's obvious that a cache shouldn't be in such a place; you might think it's none of GAGB's business; you might think a listing site will abuse it, etc.

  3. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan White View Post
    2. Caches must not be placed on, in or as safety equipment such as fire hydrants, life-saving rings etc
    I've not given this enough thought yet to decide which, if any, of the options you propose I would favour. However I would make a small amendment to the above option, for clarity:

    "2. Caches must not be placed on or in safety equipment such as fire hydrants, life-saving rings etc., nor should they be constructed to resemble such equipment."
    ...miles to go before I sleep...

  4. #104

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    That shows how difficult it is to get the wording right! The cache in question wasn't a fake fire hydrant ( or on, or inside one).

  5. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan White View Post
    Perhaps you could expand on that by saying what you think the intention of the consultation is?
    I believe the puprpose of the request is to get the GAGB to support groundspeaks stance on this.


    Allthough i dont believe we need a guideline id go with

    1. Imaginative and innovative hides greatly enhance geocaching by adding to its variety and such hides are encouraged. However, do give careful consideration to the appropriateness of the hiding place, particularly with regard to the safety of non-cachers. Caches hidden that could confuse others for example, a cache hidden on or inside a fake gas valve or fake electrical box near to a real one are discouraged.

    This leaves scope to allow the fire hydrant in a wood type of cache.
    "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning."

  6. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by simplysup View Post
    I've not given this enough thought yet to decide which, if any, of the options you propose I would favour. However I would make a small amendment to the above option, for clarity:

    "2. Caches must not be placed on or in safety equipment such as fire hydrants, life-saving rings etc., nor should they be constructed to resemble such equipment."
    Best we've read so far .
    Concise ,so we read it all without a yawn factor, without ambiguity.
    We like Greens

  7. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by t.a.folk View Post
    Best we've read so far .
    Concise ,so we read it all without a yawn factor, without ambiguity.
    Yes, but as I pointed out above it doesn't cover the situation which caused the thread to be posted, i.e. fake signs.
    I think that this one is closer;
    Quote Originally Posted by markandlynn View Post
    Allthough i dont believe we need a guideline id go with

    1. Imaginative and innovative hides greatly enhance geocaching by adding to its variety and such hides are encouraged. However, do give careful consideration to the appropriateness of the hiding place, particularly with regard to the safety of non-cachers. Caches hidden that could confuse others for example, a cache hidden on or inside a fake gas valve or fake electrical box near to a real one are discouraged.

    This leaves scope to allow the fire hydrant in a wood type of cache.
    However, genuine fire hydrants do exist in woods (there are a lot of them around here!) and fake signs there could mislead as badly as in an urban situation.
    There are innumerable situations where a fake item could cause danger or confusion, or encourage people into causing unforeseen problems. It's not going to be possible to list them all (or anticipate what people are going to come up with in the future) so it might be best to just keep any rule / guideline /whatever quite general, to encourage the cache hider to step back a bit and think about what they are planning from a non-geocaching point of view.
    That's why a "guide to best practice" would be better than a list of do's and don'ts. Perhaps an appendix can be attached containing a list of cases that have caused particular problems. That would cover both the clear and unambiguous advice side of things and the detailed example.

    So (off the top of my head) it would be something like;

    The GAGB recognises that there are creative and unusual cache hiding techniques which provide a lot of entertainment for hider and seeker alike. We encourage the use of these techniques, but urge caution when creating "cheeky" hides (such as fake items on public display, fake signs and so on). Before going ahead with such a cache, take a step back and think in a non-geocaching way. Could the item be mistaken for the real thing by a non-cacher? If so, what is the worst that could happen and would I be happy to deal with the consequences? Every once in a while the worst does happen; see our list of examples of real incidents in Appendix A.
    The reviewer can have a list of "banned" hides and rules if he likes, but the cache hider merely needs to use common sense; which just might need a bit of encouragement and guidance. And the GAGB is here to provide for the cacher, not the reviewer.
    Last edited by Happy Humphrey; 30th November 2011 at 10:34 AM.

  8. #108
    Alan White Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Humphrey View Post
    The GAGB recognises that there are creative and unusual cache hiding techniques which provide a lot of entertainment for hider and seeker alike. We encourage the use of these techniques, but urge caution when creating "cheeky" hides (such as fake items on public display, fake signs and so on). Before going ahead with such a cache, take a step back and think in a non-geocaching way. Could the item be mistaken for the real thing by a non-cacher? If so, what is the worst that could happen and would I be happy to deal with the consequences? Every once in a while the worst does happen; see our list of examples of real incidents in Appendix A.
    Brilliant :lol:. Much better than anything I've come up with, and it covers so many things in such few words. The educational key is "take a step back and think in a non-geocaching way". I feel that often cachers think only about other cachers and don't consider how unusual our activities might seem to non-cachers, and that this is the cause of many of the problems we experience.

    I suggest one tweak which would make it even more useful for many other scenarios: instead of "Could the item be mistaken for the real thing by a non-cacher?" (which restricts it to fake items), perhaps "Could the cache or hiding place be mistaken for something else, or mislead or cause concern for a non-cacher?".

    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Humphrey View Post
    And the GAGB is here to provide for the cacher, not the reviewer.
    Amen. If GAGB did that I might even join .

  9. #109

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan White View Post
    Brilliant :lol:. Much better than anything I've come up with, and it covers so many things in such few words. The educational key is "take a step back and think in a non-geocaching way". I feel that often cachers think only about other cachers and don't consider how unusual our activities might seem to non-cachers, and that this is the cause of many of the problems we experience.

    I suggest one tweak which would make it even more useful for many other scenarios: instead of "Could the item be mistaken for the real thing by a non-cacher?" (which restricts it to fake items), perhaps "Could the cache or hiding place be mistaken for something else, or mislead or cause concern for a non-cacher?".


    Amen. If GAGB did that I might even join .
    I too like the sound of the above, thank you to AW for starting the thread moving again with a proposal.
    "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning."

  10. #110

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    HH

    I am liking the idea of best practice and the appendix with examples.

    I think it may be worth having somewhere in all this, a line suggesting that if the person who is thinking of pacing a cache and they are unsure if there may be some negative impact that they contact a reviewer on their listing site of choice.

    Or even take it to the forums to see what others think, though I guess that could give the game away for finders.

  11. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Humphrey View Post
    Yes, but as I pointed out above it doesn't cover the situation which caused the thread to be posted, i.e. fake signs.
    I think that this one is closer;
    To our understanding the part of suggestion example we were praising does cover fake signs (Don't know how to do multi quotes so relevant phrase copied below)

    "nor should they be constructed to resemble such equipment."

    The suggestion you favour introduces itself with an aspect of caching that is ,in our opinion,subjective ,and also erelevant regards to the safety aspect of whether fake signs can, or should, be used as part of cach hides .

    But just our opinion L.O.L.
    We like Greens

  12. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by markandlynn View Post
    I believe the puprpose of the request is to get the GAGB to support groundspeaks stance on this.


    Allthough i dont believe we need a guideline id go with

    1. Imaginative and innovative hides greatly enhance geocaching by adding to its variety and such hides are encouraged. However, do give careful consideration to the appropriateness of the hiding place, particularly with regard to the safety of non-cachers. Caches hidden that could confuse others for example, a cache hidden on or inside a fake gas valve or fake electrical box near to a real one are discouraged.

    This leaves scope to allow the fire hydrant in a wood type of cache.
    I am still of the opinion that a guideline is not needed but I too see the quoted text as a good compromise.

    I think Deci should take some time to read the posts in this thread, he may better understand what is being conveyed. Although I suspect that we have already strayed "off topic" according to his agenda IMO. Lets not loose sight of the thread title by it's very wording it is specifically related to fire hydrant signs. Thus I think the consensus is we do not want/need a guideline for a specific otherwise we would end up eventually with a Britannic volume nobody will read.

    So may we end this consultation as a no and open another consultation as to what guideline and how it can be modified to encompass this and other likely issues?

    apologies for length
    Trust your feelings, let go your conscious self


  13. #113

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    To quote the OP

    This consultation period will run to Saturday 3rd December. Folowing this period we will consider our next steps.

  14. #114

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    I, almost, promise this will be my last word on this subject.

    A close relative of mine recently appeared in the Appeal Court and was told by the Lord Cheif Justice, when quoting guidelines for sentencing:

    "They are Guidelines, Mr XXXXXX, not tramlines!"

  15. #115

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    How about dumping an ever growing list of specific proscriptive rules and guidelines and replacing them with something like this:

    The Geocachers Code.

    Safe · Legal · Ethical

    When placing or seeking geocaches, I will:

    Not endanger myself or others.
    Observe all laws and rules of the area.
    Respect property rights and seek permission where appropriate.
    Avoid causing disruptions or public alarm.
    Minimize my and others’ impact on the environment.
    Be considerate of others.
    Protect the integrity of the gamepiece.
    Where did I find these? Try here

  16. #116

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    That's certainly the type of thing, but I feel that it needs a rewrite to reflect changes in emphasis since the original version was written back in 2004.

  17. #117
    Ve8 Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hornet View Post
    How about dumping an ever growing list of specific proscriptive rules and guidelines and replacing them with something like this:

    Quote:
    The Geocachers Code.

    Safe · Legal · Ethical

    When placing or seeking geocaches, I will:

    Not endanger myself or others.
    Observe all laws and rules of the area.
    Respect property rights and seek permission where appropriate.
    Avoid causing disruptions or public alarm.
    Minimize my and others’ impact on the environment.
    Be considerate of others.
    Protect the integrity of the gamepiece.
    Where did I find these? Try here
    The original is here: http://www.geocreed.info/, IMO the GAGB edition should be linking back to the original source - in fact it's a requirement under the creative commons licence the creed was published under.

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You may freely use and share it long as you credit www.geocreed.info and do not alter, transform or build upon the work! Please feel free to link to this site from other websites.
    Still, an excellent example of cut 'n paste.

  18. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk View Post
    To quote the OP

    This consultation period will run to Saturday 3rd December. Folowing this period we will consider our next steps.
    Didn't mean close it now! It was a suggested outcome for consideration.
    Trust your feelings, let go your conscious self


  19. #119

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ve8 View Post
    The original is here: http://www.geocreed.info/, IMO the GAGB edition should be linking back to the original source - in fact it's a requirement under the creative commons licence the creed was published under.

    Still, an excellent example of cut 'n paste.
    I can see a credit to the original authors at the bottom but no weblink.
    Trust your feelings, let go your conscious self


  20. #120
    team tisri Guest

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    I'm really no fan of rules and always prefer to keep as small and tight a set of rules as is humanly possible.

    That said where critical safety is concerned it seems easier to just make a simple "thou shalt not" rule and be done with it. If we allow fake fire hydrants where do we draw the line? Will we allow fake life rings beside rivers, fake defibrillators outside shopping malls, fake emergency help points?

    There's a cache not all that far from me that is a film pot hidden in the space behind an existing life ring beside a river. It's not hurting the life ring and unless you were hunting a cache you wouldn't even think to look in that space. If someone is in trouble in the river the life ring works as expected. A film pot at the back of a fire hydrant isn't going to harm anything either.

    When something that might be expected to be a safety feature turns out to be a "Geocache, contents harmless" the delay caused by whoever it is finding the fake, trying to operate it only to realise it's a fake and then go to find a real alternative could make the difference, quite literally, between life and death.

    This is a completely different scenario to the idea of a 5/5 rated cache. Yes, someone might get hurt attempting an extreme cache but they take part in the cache willingly. If someone's house is on fire and the fire service loses time dealing with what they thought was a hydrant but was really a geocache the victims weren't willing participants. There lies the crucial difference.

  21. #121

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    Quote Originally Posted by team tisri View Post
    If we allow fake fire hydrants where do we draw the line? Will we allow fake life rings beside rivers, fake defibrillators outside shopping malls, fake emergency help points?
    Just to be clear it's not a fake hydrant, it's a fake sign, like one of these:



    But I think the same principles should apply to such signage as would apply to the actual safety equipment.

  22. #122

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    Quote Originally Posted by martybartfast View Post
    Just to be clear it's not a fake hydrant, it's a fake sign, like one of these:



    But I think the same principles should apply to such signage as would apply to the actual safety equipment.
    This actually seems to be the consensus, a specific rule / guideline is not the way forward. A more general all encompassing guideline is.

    Although I am starting to think that being as serious as life or death and risks of serious injury should be dealt with by listings sites first and foremost. Something as crucial as this needs to be a rule not a guideline. And as it is oft said the GAGB make guidelines not rules.

    Maybe we should consider an open letter to all listings sites asking officially for this to be addressed?
    Trust your feelings, let go your conscious self


  23. #123

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Boogie View Post

    Something as crucial as this needs to be a rule not a guideline. And as it is oft said the GAGB make guidelines not rules.

    How true!!

  24. #124

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Boogie View Post
    This actually seems to be the consensus, a specific rule / guideline is not the way forward. A more general all encompassing guideline is.

    Although I am starting to think that being as serious as life or death and risks of serious injury should be dealt with by listings sites first and foremost. Something as crucial as this needs to be a rule not a guideline. And as it is oft said the GAGB make guidelines not rules.

    Maybe we should consider an open letter to all listings sites asking officially for this to be addressed?
    If it's a rule for a particular listing site to disallow fire hydrant signs, then fair enough; they can make their own rules. Although if the type of hide isn't mentioned in the listing (and that's quite likely in the fake sign scenario) I don't know how a reviewer would enforce such a rule.

    And if the rule is "no fake fire hydrant signs", a mischievous cacher might place a fake Stop Valve (SV) sign instead. Not quite as bad perhaps, but if there's a major mains burst in the area, the fake sign could lead to more damage and expense, and possible safety issues. Or perhaps a fake street name sign which leads to an ambulance crew getting confused. You could think up endless scenarios.

    But we're bringing the discussion around to the start again, so I guess that this thread has run its course. Rather than go in circles for ever more, perhaps the GAGB committee could close the consultation? We've already discussed various options, my favourite being a new "best practice" guide which also covers all these types of safety issues in an educational way, and the listings sites having their own rules about fake signs. Now it's up to the GAGB to take forward their preferred option.

  25. #125

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    As can be seen from this thread - its good to get everyone involved in consultations regarding serious matters such as safety issues and guidelines do not seem to be able to solve this. A rule has to be accepted by all and the only ones who can enforce this are the cache reviewers (on whichever site they work)
    Si vis pacem para bellum

  26. #126
    team tisri Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by martybartfast View Post
    Just to be clear it's not a fake hydrant, it's a fake sign, like one of these:



    But I think the same principles should apply to such signage as would apply to the actual safety equipment.
    I'd agree, unless I misunderstood the fundamental problem the original issue was that the fire service were confused by such a sign. If it's close enough to a genuine sign to confuse the fire service then it's a potential safety hazard.

  27. #127

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    .
    Guidelines or Rules?
    The discussion / argument goes on, and on, and on, and on. To the point where people do not even bother reading what you're arguing about.

    A Guideline or Rule is pointless if people - LOTS of people - don't know about it!
    Consider how many people go caching, and compare that number to the ones that come on here.
    There must be thousands that do not even know that there are Guidelines and Rules.

    Something needs to be done about he passage of INFORMATION.

    The SEEKER is a great magazine. Maybe an article about recent problems could be put in there.

    But....If people, and there are lots and lots of new people, do not know about the GAGB and do not know about The SEEKER, then again that is not getting the information to the people that count....That's everyone.

    Events are a good way to pass information. People chat about all sorts, but often the important things are forgotten.
    I see that on each event listing, there is an entry saying that the event has been added to the GAGB calender.

    Why not add a bit to each of these entries with a short article about recent problems?

    Lots of people will see this, and it might get them to discuss it at the event.
    This would be a free method of passing important information.

    As someone else has said, it should be more about 'best practice' than 'These are the Rules'.

    Don't bother responding to me with your multi quotes or comments about grammar etc because we're 'cachers' and are going out caching for the day.
    .
    .

  28. #128

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    Thanks for the comments in this consultation. We will now consider these before proposing next steps.


    Caching since 2001
    Founder member of GAGB (2003)
    Committee (2003-2013)
    Chair of GAGB (2010-2012)
    Negotiator of 18 Landowner Agreements
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