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Old Posted Feb 3, 2007, 4:24 AM
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natelox natelox is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 343
Wow. Those are some very innovatitve ideas, however they are not without their problems. The most feasible is escaperesuce however it has some major problems. Firstly, the movie shows everyone lining up nicely with no environmental problems. In thick black, toxic smoke and heat people can't see, can't think clearly, won't last and even if they could really won't have the patience to set up an escape system / access ramp to firefighter's access panel with all this going on. Secondly, flames in buildings typically lick out the windows, up the face of the building. The whole system appears to be fixed at the top of building and may have to descend through the fire. This would kill anyone in the 'pods' and melt the steel runners/cables by the time it gets to the ground. Even if it made one or two trips, the whole apperatus could collapse onto the street killing some on lookers, escapees and emergency workers. Even if the whole system could move around the top of the building, the annunciator would have to recognize where the flames were, move the system around on the roof (and not run into anyone seeking refuge on the roof) and all quickly enough to get things moving. Oh, and of course if it's an office building with an open plan it doesn't really matter if the system can change the face on which it moves as flames will be licking out all sides.

Helicopters don't always work. Sao Paulo had a major skyscraper fire in 1974, 179 people died. It was a precedent setting case. Helicopters tried to rescue people off the roof of the building but it was too small and the fire was just way to intense. The radiation intensity of a fire is directly porportional to the temperature of the fire to the fourth power. Yes, the fourth power. Getting a helicopter close enough could be dangerous to everyone on the roof, in the helicopter and on the ground. Smoke could also make the task infinetly more difficult.

This is a kind of backwards thinking, much the same way cars are designed. Cars are designed to withstand crashes in the same way these are designed to withstand an emergency. The best way of dealing with a building fire is to not let it start in the first place, or secondly let it grow (and just to finish the car referance, cars should be designed not to get into crashes). Our buildings today are built as fire resistant, not fire proof, which is where we should be aiming.

Last edited by natelox; Feb 3, 2007 at 4:32 AM.
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