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4/18/2021 9:59:29 PM
Posted: 3/9/2015 1:14:48 PM EDT
Hi Folks:

I am a member of my church Safety and Security team.  Our services are held on the 3rd story of the building. We have the normal staircase, a fire escape (though the engineer we hired to inspect/assess it will only "guarantee"  it for 3 people at once) and the elevator.

I'm looking for ideas for additional emergency escape means. Things like emergency slides, etc. they are hard to find. As you can imagine, I'm looking for things which require little to no skill and are quick...so things like rappelling set-ups are out!  Also, inexpensive would be a priority, though I understand that is a lower priority.

Ideas?
Link Posted: 3/9/2015 1:22:15 PM EDT
Emergency ladders?





That would suck swinging on one of those from the 3rd story though


 



ETA: Obviously, the elevator is out in case of a fire. That would be a very nice metal coffin.
Link Posted: 3/9/2015 1:28:15 PM EDT
If you have operable windows you might consider drop-out fire escape ladders. They'd be awkward to use, but a whole lot better than jumping. Kidde makes them for 2- and 3-story applications (I found them when my sons used to live in a 3rd-floor apt), and other companies probably make them as well. IIRC, it was under a hundred dollars for the 3-story version.

An additional stairwell would be my goal or maybe reinforcing/upgrading your existing stairwell, but that may not be realistic in your situation for any number of reasons. IIRC, the Kidde part number was something like KL3 or KL3S; not sure without looking it up.

Don't forget extinguishers and smoke detectors as well. That's some of the best insurance and preps that a person or organization can have imo.
Link Posted: 3/9/2015 1:30:30 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:...Obviously, the elevator is out in case of a fire. That would be a very nice metal coffin.
View Quote

This. I've been in the fire alarm industry for a long time, and elevators are supposed to shut down normal functions when the fire alarm goes off. If there's no fire alarm, you absolutely still don't want to use it.

Think "Jiffy Pop"
Link Posted: 3/9/2015 1:40:37 PM EDT
Ladders and the like are only good for able-bodied people.  I'm surprised the local Fire Marshal allows a 3rd floor assembly occupancy with inadequate exits.

Your best option at your present location is another stairwell with adequate fire separation (think multiple layers of sheetrock). It's definitely not a cheap option.  Relocating to a suitable building might be more economical.
Link Posted: 3/9/2015 2:10:04 PM EDT
For the lack of any alternative solutions, early warning/detection might go a long way.

Maybe have someone responsible patrolling the areas where a fire might start during church time...

Or put electronic wireless fire detectors in key remote locations.

Be able to detect a fire early and fight it if appropriate.  Even losing a couple folks fighting a fire, beats losing the entire congregation.





Link Posted: 3/9/2015 5:30:57 PM EDT
Thanks for the input, guys.

I certainly do wish we could move to another building: This one is circa 1940s, and is showing it's age.  

We have a couple people on the Safety team on radios during the service, with radios with the door "Greeters" in the children's area, the second story "video cafe" and the media team running the microphones and A/V stuff. As well, we have a full compliment of smoke/fire detectors.

The exit device question was not just for fire evacuation, but for all contingencies that may require a rapid evacuation.

Anyway, I was hoping one of you guys know of some place that sold 3 story window-mountable evacuation slides like on aircraft or something along those lines. Sounds like such a critter doesn't commonly exist.
Link Posted: 3/9/2015 6:18:08 PM EDT
I was curious what google would reveal on this subject.

Have you seen this companies products?

Link

I don't know anything about them but they claim to have installed products like you are looking for over 40 years
Link Posted: 3/9/2015 6:41:04 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I was curious what google would reveal on this subject.

Have you seen this companies products?

Link

I don't know anything about them but they claim to have installed products like you are looking for over 40 years
View Quote



That is exactly what I half-remembered seeing, and was looking for online! I searched "evacuation slide" and "emergency evacuation slide" and all the permutations I could think of!

Thanks!
Link Posted: 3/10/2015 5:38:15 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
For the lack of any alternative solutions, early warning/detection might go a long way.

Maybe have someone responsible patrolling the areas where a fire might start during church time...

View Quote


I do this on a rotational basis a couple Sundays a month.  Once the main service begins we do both an inside and perimeter check. The inside is the nightmare as there are probably 80-100 smaller class rooms and it's a multi-tiered, 5 story layout.  We start and end with an outer perimeter patrol to include the parking lot.  Early warning would be your best bet outside of specific evacuation techniques.  

I always advocate a flashlight, and this has proven essential for our room checks and patrolling.  If your building loses power, don't forget flashlights for the ushers.

ROCK6

Link Posted: 3/10/2015 8:17:24 AM EDT
For those of you that patrol your churches, what is the concern, if you dont mind me asking?

Is it fire, accidental issues like kitchen hazards, or theft issues or have your churches received actual threats?

just curious and in no way discrediting your practice.  If my church felt it necessary, I would likely assist too, although it would be a short lived endeavor, as our typical sunday service has les than 20 members
Link Posted: 3/10/2015 9:13:53 AM EDT
A building with normal exits, infrequently occupied for a couple hours at a time, probably in daylight w/ no overnight/sleeping?

Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, fire drills, reduce flammables in building. Done.

The chances of being sued after someone breaks their neck during some circus evac drill are exponentially greater than being trapped in the building.  

Link Posted: 3/10/2015 9:34:23 AM EDT
I would consider adding safety items at the top of the stairs to increase its potential use.

Older people won't be able to use a ladder or rope so you will need to enhance the exits you already have with safety gear.

You can add several fire blankets and large fire extinguishers and increase the odds the stairway can be used. Blankets can be less $100 each and extinguishers are fairly inexpensive also.

Might want to add emergency oxygen masks if possible.

I personally would feel better using the stairs wrapped in a fire blanket then trying to climb out a window and fighting with a ladder.
And I used to teach rock climbing.

Just my $0.02
Link Posted: 3/10/2015 10:09:55 AM EDT
Any option to replace the current fire escape with a full external staircase to ground level?
Link Posted: 3/10/2015 1:05:19 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
That is exactly what I half-remembered seeing, and was looking for online! I searched "evacuation slide" and "emergency evacuation slide" and all the permutations I could think of!
View Quote



Its all about the key words and syntax operators using google search syntax.
Try using chute OR slide, same with escape OR evacuation. You can add others to get more granular, you're allowed 32 words in a query.

Example:
https://www.google.com/#q=building+escape+OR+evacuation++slide+OR+chute

Google search syntax info:
Basic info
https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/2466433
Advanced info
http://www.googleguide.com/interpreting_queries.html

Takes a bit of trial and error to get the hang of it but the more you learn to leverage the search the more effective it becomes. Its why I tried searching on your question, gave me an excuse to practice
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