Fire escapes are mainly used as special kind of emergency exit that helps
save lives and assets in the event of a fire that cannot be controlled. These
fire escapes are located outside the building so that things can be removed
and people can safely exit from the building.
The main use of fire escapes is for multi-story building where it becomes
difficult to get out through normal exit points in the event of fire. However,
now days these fire escapes have become an important part of both
residential and business facilities especially in the urban areas.
These fire escapes have a number of horizontal platforms attached to each
floor of the mutli-story building or apartment with stairs connecting these
platforms together. These platforms and stairs are mainly made up of steel
with railings provided so that people can escape safely through them.
The ladder that forms the lowest level of the fire escape can either be fixed or allowed to swing down on a hinge.
Sometimes the bottom portion has a slide type of construction to allow people to reach the ground safely
without too much effort.
However, the maintenance of slide type fire escapes is more costly than the normal staircase type ones.
These fire escapes have a movable design so that people from the ground level cannot directly reach the
ladder by climbing on to the fire escape. Since these fire escapes are connected near the windows, there
exists a certain security threat if not taken care off and checked. Most of the time these fire escapes are
fitted with alarms to prevent unauthorized entry into the building or apartment.
Fire Escape Ladders
The fire escape ladders are mainly used to make a quick exit from the building during fire incidents.
They provide safe and reliable method of fire exit. The fire control and suppression appliances might
help for a while but in case of large and quickly spreading fire, there is no alternative but to make an
exit from the building at the earliest. The main reason for using fire escape ladders is due to its
portability and ease of maintenance, which might not be possible through the use of slide type of
fire escapes. Due to the fixed structure and provision of railings in the ladder fire escape, people
can escape without having to worry too much about factors like descent or structure collapse.
These fire escape ladders can be installed easily and be secured to the wall of the building providing
sufficient strength to the structure. The ladders can be used to cover up to five story buildings.
However, for taller buildings there is a need to design a different kind of fire escape altogether.
However, these fire escape ladders have a limitation based on the width of the wall in which they
are installed. In case of walls that are, more than 11 inches thick these fire escape ladders should be
replaced with internal fire exit facilities.