There would be few scarier places to be in the event of a fire than in a high-rise building with no means of escape. Tragedies such as the World Trade Center disaster have highlighted the vulnerability of the building’s core and emergency stairwell as the only venue for evacuation. We've seen some last resort options that cater for those individuals brave enough to rappel
or even parachute
from the building, but that's still only part of the equation. When escape routes are compromised it not only prevents evacuation, but also prevents emergency personnel reaching the trouble spots. Escape Rescue Systems' solution is to use collapsible cabins which can be lowered over the side of the building to transport rescue personnel up... and evacuate building occupants down.
For most of us, chances are that we will never be in a car that plunges into the water. However, if you consider yourself “at risk” for that sort of eventuality – say, if you’re a rally driver or Jason Bourne – you might be interested in the Escape Belt. It automatically releases your seat belt when exposed to water.
Aerospace firm Blue Origin has already conducted wind tunnel
tests, in the development of its reusable orbital Space Vehicle. Last week, however, the company took a step forward in the development of its New Shepard sub
orbital system – at its West Texas launch site, the company conducted a successful pad escape test, in which a full-scale crew capsule was ejected from a launch vehicle simulator.
The Rescue Reel is a compact, self-contained device designed to allow people to escape from high-rise buildings in an emergency. Taking inspiration from a fishing reel, inventor Kevin Stone's design features a simple sling harness and enough cord to descend from a 100 story building, yet the device is small enough to be stored in a standard filing cabinet drawer.