Thread: Escape Chute
08-25-2003, 12:28 AM #1
- Join Date
- Sep 2002
I am personally skeptical of these devices, in an office building. I am responsible for fire safety in a large office complex, and I could see several difficulties.
--Almost all office buildings have sealed windows, so the windows would have to be smashed out to allow the escapeslide to be used, showering glass on the neighbourhood
--There has to be someone on the floor who is adequately trained and has sufficient practice to use the slide: ensuring it is properly anchored and laid out without twists or kinks. How would you give staff sufficient practice on this, smash out the windows during your annual fire drill?
--You have to have someplace to store it when not in use, eventually it is put away and forgotten. Some tenants bought the "stairchair" after the WTC disaster, but after awhile they could stuffed into the back storage room, where no one will find them during an emergency.
--There is a height limit to the slides, they don't make them for the upper floors of a highrise.
--If you are trapped above the fire, such as at WTC, the slide will have to pass by the flames and hot gases from the fire floor, which would likely melt it
--In the vast majority of situations it is possible to walk down the stairs and out of the building, or defend in place while the fire is extinguished.
--There is also the issue of liability, would the landlord be held responsible if the slide didn't work, or if someone got hurt.
The escape parachute is one of the most ridiculous things I've seen, I saw it at a seminar I attended, the brochures pointed out it had never actually been tested or used from a building, and made no guarantees about it's effectiveness, all for several hundred dollars. Most tall office buildings in North America are in the 400 to 700 foot range, so the chute has to deploy pretty fast to arrest your fall, and you have to hope you don't get slammed against the side of the building.
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