(Diagram is linked)
Conventional fire escapes are slow to run down, crowded, rickety, and impractical after about ten stories. Plus, they do not accomodate the hanidcapped, unlike this idea.
My escape is a big swinging lever/carousel type of fire escape for higher floors. It would have cars that
hold a dozen or so people on every floor, all held together with one arm. This is securely bolted to the frame of the building someplace where fire is very unlikely. Then a counterweight is on the other side, which is barely heavier than when unloaded.
People climb into the cars at each floor, and the whole thing spins down, depositing them all on lower floors. Then the device locks in or something until everybody has gotten out, and gravity swings it back up again.
Since high rise fires are usually only on a couple floors at once, you don't need to move far down to be safe.
Also, there would obviously be some sort of mechanical resistance built into the system, at least going down, so that it was smooth and did not throw people out of the escape at the bottom. But not too much - it needs to move quickly.-- Smurfsahoy,
Mar 27 2007
http://i68.photobuc...smurfsahoy/Fire.jpg [Smurfsahoy, Mar 27 2007]
I considered that, but what if it's in the evening or something, and several floors have nobody on them who is getting in the cab? (Or if a cab floor is underneath the fire already) Then they would sit forever waiting for a lever to never be pulled...
The best I could come up with was either 1) Have a timer, triggered upon fire alarm pulling, with a little klaxon that sounds off 5 seconds before release, regardless of who is on board. or 2) Have the fire department be able to remotely control the thing.-- Smurfsahoy,
Mar 27 2007
As soon as you add any sort of automation, you are adding failure modes. A fire escape needs to be as failure resistant as possible. A ladder or staircase that you descend to the ground is about as error resistant as anything short of falling could be. Sorry, bone.-- Galbinus_Caeli,
Mar 27 2007
Ah good call. Yes that's quite simple.-- Smurfsahoy,
Mar 28 2007
//Once in, they could pull the release.//
Unless they have passed out from smoke inhalation. Or are too freaked out from the fire to remember to pull the lever. Then everybody dies. (Or are a hunk of burning timber that happened to fall into the cage. Or a couple of houseplants that someone placed on the fire escape to make it look nice.)-- Galbinus_Caeli,
Mar 28 2007
//Unless they have passed out from smoke inhalation. Or are too freaked out from the fire to remember to pull the lever. Then everybody dies. (Or are a hunk of burning timber that happened to fall into the cage. Or a couple of houseplants that someone placed on the fire escape to make it look nice.)//
It could just be one lever for everybody at once. If there is significant weight (over 50 lbs or so) in any basket, then it locks, until any one of the levers is pulled.
This allows people to freak out and pull the lever before others are ready, yes, but I hardly see how this is more dangerous or likely than people pushing each other off of a conventional fire escape in a panic to get down more quickly, etc. A flaw that is shared with the current system is not a reason to not implement.
And if the system was built with more of a "cage" sort of feel to it, a mentioned above, rather than a "basket" idea, then it would stop almost everyone from falling out even if the lever was pulled before they were ready. It would also conveniently stop timbers from falling in and getting in the way of things (note that conventional fire escapes are MORE affected by burning timbers in their path than this idea is, with a cage design)-- Smurfsahoy,
Mar 31 2007