These Emergency Escape Chutes Could Save Lives
It sounds like a nightmare scenario. A fire breaks out in the middle of a massive high-rise building. A fire blocks access to a stairwell and elevators are out of the question. The only choices left include a risky jump from a window or waiting until emergency services arrive. High-rise fires like the one in the Plasco Building in Tehran, Iran in January 2017 led to the death of 21 people, are any civil engineer or architect's worst fear.
One company wants to add another alternative to escaping extreme emergency situations. Emergency Escape Chutes get people from the tallest of buildings safely to the streets below. Simply open the hatch, deploy the chute, and slip down. The chute partially inflates to constrict and contract so as to not drop anyone directly onto the street.
"Escape Chutes can be used from most high areas, where there is a possibility of being trapped by fire, terrorism, criminal attack, or industrial accident, that could result in the loss of life or serious injury due to no alternative means of emergency egress being available," the company said on its website.
The company claims that one Escape Chute can evacuate 25 people per minute regardless of height. They recommend it for a variety of buildings including schools, embassies, banks, hospitals, government buildings, and chemical plants. The company uses two types of chutes. The "Verti-Scape" allows evacuees to descend in a vertical manner. The "Slide-Scape" provides a gradual incline rather than a straight drop.
Escape chutes might sound 'sci-fi' in usage, but they've been an effective part of building plans for several decades. Early tubes were made of heavier metals, but those were largely impractical during fires. Most current designs are made up of Kevlar and other flexible and fire-retardant materials. Fabric chutes, such as the one in the video, allow for compact storage and a faster deployment than other options.
Via: Eric Hooper