Friday, 15 March 2013


So off I went to the local shops to buy the replacement item. Came home and fitted it, everything back to normal, job done. 

Then later, during the evening I came to recycle the packing into the appropriate council approved sorting system containers and came across the instructions, which, in a moment of boredom, I decided to read. (I’m told that real men normally carry out jobs in this order).

Across the top of the instruction sheet were a load of symbols. Now I get the ‘indoors’ one. I understand through years of training that this item would not work correctly in the bath or if wet. I accept that the illumination bulb must be 40 watt max, because it said so all over the box and there were stickers on the bulb holder anyhow. Nobody in their right mind would try and use it without it being properly fixed in place and it needs an earth and a fuse (the F in a triangle?). The volume control symbol had me beat.

Then I find another piece of paper that’s included solely to explain the symbols. But not just these symbols, it describes a set of 52 symbols, and does so in 28 languages! The sheet of paper is as large as an OS map (double sided) and a high quality magnifying glass is required to read it. It looks like this.

These are the symbols for anyone who fancies a quiz, they are the top corner of the sheet being pointed at by the pen.

If you are suddenly overcome by an urge to learn all about these wonderful symbols, or indeed need a 28 language cross reference chart to health and safety symbols for installations you can easily get one. Pop into Wickes and they are in a tidy small cardboard box and most usefully they come with a free wall light. You’ll need it to see the tiny writing.

Does anybody actually read or need this information, 52 signs in 28 languages?


  1. "Does anybody actually read or need this information"

    I don't, I just treat it as packaging.