emergency drawstrings

I was recently at a hotel in Italy that had what I'd have to describe as an emergency drawstring - in pulling the string you pull a switch beside which it says "Emergency". I assume the purpose is to provide people who get stuck, be it because they fell and broke a hip, or whatever, however, the drawstring didn't seem to be long enough to really be pulled from the basin.
This makes me wonder... is there another purpose to the draw strings? Are they required in some EU countries? I don't recall seeing them in France...
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On Tue, 28 Jul 2009 21:25:44 -0700 (PDT), yawnmoth

    Fire alarm? Sort of like those red things on the walls of many buildings in the US that have the words (incase of fire PULL)
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yawnmoth wrote: ...

Would seem to have made a lot more sense to ask the concierge/maid/etc.,... while at the hotel...
--
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They are common in the US as well. Check out https://hdsupplysolutions.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDetailsDisplayView?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10051&rstate=336995-1&req=search or go to maintencewarehouse and search for HD Supply Part #: 336995
In a senior citizen apartment complex (or a hospital), the switch usually activates a light over the door, often unlocks the door, and sometimes in tied into a control panel somewhere.
The string should just barely touch the floor so it can be pulled but so it doesn't get grimy IIRC
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yawnmoth wrote:

In case of an earthquake, pull it and the building stops moving. It's the emergency brake.
TDD
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