The Simline safety rope
What is it?
It is a safety line, researched, designed and evaluated by Fire Service personnel, which allows persons to find their way out of unfamiliar premises, even in total darkness.
Fire fighters are only too aware that in reduced visibility, the only one of the five senses that is guaranteed to be of benefit is your sense of touch.
The Fire services in the UK have utilised a piece of equipment called a Breathing Apparatus Guideline for over 30 years now and it allows the Fire-fighter Physical contact with a rope that will lead them out to safety.
The SIM LINE has taken this concept one step further by utilising this equipment to assist evacuation of premises, prior to the arrival of the Fire Service
how does it work?
Fire services will use the Simline in the same manner as the existing Guideline, which is secured at the entry point and taken into the building by crews and pays out as they progress further into the risk.
The crews tie the line off at changes of direction within the building, and the line will allow the crews to find their way back to the entry point and also let subsequent crews find the area of operations.
The line could also be fitted on each side of emergency escape routes at waist height, and the building could be evacuated safely, prior to the arrival of the Fire crews. It should be made clear that only buildings with complicated internal layouts, or premises where it would be easy to get disorientated in emergency situations, such as Ships or Basements would have the greatest benefit from this system being fitted.
The Simline uses a device called a Directional indicator to denote the quickest way to an exit.
The directional indicator feels smooth when the person is travelling towards an exit and rough when they are going the opposite way. If someone grasps the Directional indicator and it feels smooth, they will know immediately that they are going towards an exit. The Directional indicator can also be made luminous to give both a visual and physical indication of the way to the nearest exit.
What are its benefits?
Research has indicated that when moving in smoke and darkness, it is easy to become disorientated and unable to find the way out. Even fire fighters who are highly trained to find their way under these conditions can get confused and in large complex buildings, will always take a length of hose or a Guideline to allow them to retrace their steps to their point of entry.
Reports also concluded that Fire crews felt more secure in the knowledge that they had physical contact with a piece of equipment that would lead them to safety.
If this physical contact gives fire crews who are trained to operate in these conditions security, think what the benefits would be to members of the public who were totally alien to these conditions.
Imagine the comfort it would give someone in knowing that there was a piece of safety equipment fitted in the premises that when they held on to and read the Directional indicators, would take them to an exit, even in pitch darkness. The SIMLINE is a piece of equipment that could be utilised in buildings to increase the occupant’s chances of escape.
One final point is the fact that if the equipment is already fitted to premises, Fire crews can also utilise it to tackle the fire quicker and safer, which should lead to less property damage and smaller insurance claims.
I would appreciate any comments and opinions on this product, especially from fellow Fire fighters in The USA and other parts of the world to see if they thought it would be of benefit to them.
For more info, see www.simline.co.uk