The Iceberg Phenomenon:
A very limited number of buildings meet the majority of the numerous government and fire department requirements. Moderate regulation is reserved for renovations and certain buildings, like schools. Older buildings, which are barely regulated, are at the greatest risk of a fire and are the poorest regulated and controled. So the need for evacuation routes is much larger then at first sight.
Overcoming the Iceberg
How can we do this?
• Increased regulation via spontaneous fire department evaluations
But, many Corps have insufficient resources for this
• Comments by prevention consultants
Only applies to a working environment
• Suggestions by insurance inspectors
Insurers are often more concerned about property damage than about "human damage"
• Awareness of residents or users of the building
Do they realize the danger?
• Awareness among owners of buildings
It can be difficult to balance safety with cost effectiveness.
Adding a New Escape Route to an Existing Building isn't that simple.
Egress stairs are considered to be the safest, best and most widely accepted fire escape route.
A substitute solution for emergency evacuation is the escape ladder. The ladder is a less optimal, but frequently used as a reliable escape route. There are ladders with or without safety cages, retractable ladders, counterbalanced ladders, any many more options.
Some of the less prefered escape routes include balcony ladders, descent devices, and chain ladders.These solutions for fire escape are only used in very specific or exceptional situations and are sometimes even dangerous. Try once to use a chain ladder in a panic situation !?