High-Rise Fire Escape Systems

When fires breakout in very tall buildings it can often cause additional problems that conventional fire escape routes aren't able to cope with. For example, people may become stranded on the higher floors if the corridors below them are blocked by fast-spreading smoke and flames, or if the fire escape stairs and exits are congested from large crowds attempting to use them at once.

High-Rise Fire Escape systems offer an alternative escape route for people trapped many levels above the ground. They provide a range of entirely self-contained lowering systems which can be adapted to rescue people from any height of up to 100 floors, using a Controlled Descent Device (CDD) that adjusts to the user's weight and lowers them down to earth at speeds of between 1 and 1.5 meters per second.

How a high-rise fire escape system works

  • A wall-mounted boom is installed on the building (usually above a window or balcony) to which the CDD is then attached.

  • A flame-proof, patented escape suit is then added to either end of a special wire rope which is threaded through the boom.

  • This is left in place so when an emergency happens someone trying to escape merely needs to swing the escape suit over to where they are, climb inside it and step off the ledge to be lowered down to safety.

  • As they descend the other suit is raised back towards the top, allowing the next person to start coming down as soon as the first person reaches the ground

The lightweight cable can be supplied in lengths up to 1000ft long (333 meters), making it suitable for any building below approximately 95 storeys tall.

High Rise Fire Escape Products

This system has been designed for use in a number of different products, the details of which are listed below:

  • The Escape Pack
    • All the other systems are based around the Escape Pack

    • The CDD is attached to a permanent anchoring point using a carabiner

    • This anchoring point can be either the mounted bracket or one of the portable products

    • The person escaping straps themselves to a cable for lowering; as they descend the strap at the other end of the cable goes up, allowing the next person to come down using it as soon as the previous person has reached the bottom

    • Comes in 3 foot or 6 foot per second models

  • The Guardian Wall Mount
    • The safest option because it is mounted permanently

    • A permanent bracket is mounted to the outer-wall of the building using 3 Red Head 1/2 inch anchors

    • The bracket can be painted any colour to match the decor of the building

    • Each person can be lowered about 10 storeys in approximately 16 seconds

    • The extension of the bracket keeps the user 34 inches away from the wall as they descend, minimizing the risk of dragging and bumps

    • Apart from the bracket(s), everything else (rope, CDD & escape suits) can be stored away conveniently inside until there is a fire

  • The Life Box
    • A weather-proof container for attaching to the outside of the building that contains everything needed to evacuate an entire floor

    • All its contents are pre-assembled and ready for immediate deployment in the event of an emergency

    • Dimensions are 10 inches deep by 38 inches across

    • Outside can be painted to match the building

  • Responder 1 & 2
    • A portable application of the CDD that can be quickly installed anywhere by tightening it between the ceiling and the floor

    • Can safely lower two people at once, with a maximum load of 800 lbs / 362 kg

    • Is capable of lowering two people a distance of ten storeys every 17 seconds

    • The portable mount can be set up inside a window opening or extended to normal ceiling heights with its adjustable length

    • Booms can be extended to lower people through window openings or off the sides of balconies

    • Can be deployed - without practice - in under 3 minutes

    • Patented escape suits made from para-aramid fibre that reflects 95% of radiant heat

    • Training programs available for group users

A range of evacuation accessories is also available to compliment these systems. For details, visit the High Rise Escape Systems Product Page. If you're interested in any of these products, contact Ian Cullingford using the details on the Homepage.