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A fact or a myth for fire rescue personnel?

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  • #31
    [originally posted by Fire304[/I]

    There is a price people are willing to pay to save lives,..........If you can convince a landlord to exceed the basic requirements to build into their new property,.........
    No ones like to contemplate the possibility of a high rise evacuation. It is horrifying to watch TV news stories about people who died; unable to escape burning multi-storey building. Such tragic events would have stimulated public awareness of potential dangers in emergency evacuation. Unfortunately, humans tend not to react this egress and exit issue until they perceive that they are at risk. The bottom line is - we do not need to experience actual fatalities before we realise this.

    Given that we are living in an ageing society, it is prudent to think through the evacuation operation for this group of people in an emergency situation. A majority would still be actively working and living a better life centred around high-rise environments. It would have reminded designers and operators of tall buildings the challengers they can face to get them out of a building as quickly as possible in the event of an emergency evacuation.

    How should safety evaluation criteria be for staircases, while serving as emergency exits, are not exactly friendly to the elderly, or the disabled for that matter? Is it legal by Human Rights legislation or the Disability Discrimination Act (or by some other act) to just leave the poor unfortunate less abled people at the refuge in a blazing building waiting for someone to come to get them out? What priority should it be given in the development of new egress feature that will meet the evacuation needs of tomorrow? How can we measure the price that people are willing to pay to save lives when they can afford to work and live a luxurious high-rise environments?

    Looking at the life safety points of view, I personally think self-rescue is the most effective safety measure. The ability for the disabled people to self-evacuate via any accessible means of egress could gives them the best chance to "get out alive" when fire conditions deteriorate. Should evacuation procedures influence egress design or can they reasonably be left as a matter for building operators to address?

    As to your question about could this system be retrofitted into the Empire State building or any other existing "target"? I think there are ways and means to "retrofit" such systems in existing buildings. I have come across some tall office buildings over 100m in Europe retrofitted such systems. The building management recognised its responsibility to exceed the basic requirements to enhance its emergency preparedness in all situations!

    While there are codes for building (public and private), to ensure accessibility and a total barrier free environment, but there are no requirement to provide alternative egress facilities in multi-story buildings for evacuating people with mobility impairments in extreme
    emergencies. I guess only through the development of applicable codes and standards will the possibility for the industries to develop and adopt new solutions to provide the disabled people the same ability that able-bodied people have for vertical exits, making future tall buildings egressible to everyone. I guess that if this device were to be used by the landlords, it is their moral obligations to the ethical questions rather than in compliance to code.

    Should an international standard be adopted by fire and building authorities to provide a clear definition of alternative egress facilities, building management responsibilities and procedures for the safe evacuation of people with mobility impairments in the event of total evacuation?
    Last edited by escapeconsult; 09-03-2003, 03:05 AM.

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