- 18 Feb 2007
- Reaction score
I think the general meaning of the phrase is clear, but native English speakers are not always correct as far as the real usages and syntax are concerned. (Not anyone here, I mean the person who made the sign.)
Couldn't agree more, bakaKanadajin!
The phrase 'in case there is a fire' means that at the point at which you're doing the said action, in this case 'placing a fire extinguisher in your room', the fire has already begun. The 'there is' part indicates existence. 'In case of' also carries the same literal meaning.
With respect, I think you've confused this bit a little. I've included a British English definition of '(just) in case' in my post #11. It does not mean that a fire has already begun. Likewise, if I say 'I'll take my credit card to the shop in case I see something nice I want to buy' I am also talking about a future possibility.
To be more precise, 'Pull alarm in case of fire' would be more effective because at the point in time where a fire is presently occuring, simply placing a fire extinguisher in the room would do nothing to stop it, you'd just have a burning room with a fire extinguisher sitting unused in the corner. Pulling the alarm would in theory activate the sprinkler system or do something to stop the fire.
As for the extinguisher and its most effective usage in relation to a fire, the sign could say 'Use extinguisher in case of fire'.
Absolutely correct again! In this case you are using the distinct phrase 'in (the) case of' - this is different from '(just) in case' and has a different meaning, which I also explained in post #11. That is, it describes what to do/what will happen if and when a certain situation actually occurs.
In post #14, Kinsao kindly and quite correctly added that 'in case of' is a contraction of 'in the case of', often to draw attention to something important and make it as clear as possible in as few words as possible.