Thoughts & Ideas

Alternate fire escape for sky scrapers

25 January, 2012 (12:00) | Thoughts & Ideas

I had this idea sometime shortly after the attacks on the world trade towers on 9/11/01.  There were all these people stuck on floors so high up, and their only way out were the windows.  So many people just jumped to their death.  The only other method of getting out of the building was the stairwells, which were full of smoke or missing completely.

I was reminded again of this idea when I watched the movie, Towering Inferno.  Probably one of the gnarliest movies I’ve ever watched.

Anyway, I remembered when I was a kid we had one of these portable chain ladders.  You just threw it out the window, hooked it to the bottom of the window, and climbed down.

So why can’t we have a bunch of these all around buildings?  Have these chain ladders built into the sides of the buildings, all folded up, and when someone hits the emergency button, they all just fall down.  I can’t imagine it would be very expensive.  You don’t have to encase the building in chain ladders either.  Maybe every other floor have a set of 4 ladders around it, and have the ladders span down 3 floors, so if a floor is inaccessible, like a plane flies into it, you can still get to the next floors from the other set of ladders.

Even having something to grab onto would help people get down to a safer height, or if they fall off, they could grab onto.  Graphic, I know, but it just seems so simple and cheap that I’m surprised it’s not implemented.


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