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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/579

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Dropping to Safety from a Fire

��Sl'CC'KSSl'lil. expcriim-iUs wrrc uiadc recently with a new Danish lire-escape at the main tire-station of Charlottenburg, whicli is a sul)url) of Berlin. The apparatus comprises a crane which can be swiuig out of the window, a rope and a brake to regulate the speed of descent. The brake con- sists of a pair of cylinders tilled wiih oil. They act like the cylinders of an automatic door-closer and are not influenced perceptibly by differences in the weight of passengers.

riie apparatus can be secured to any window. An iron plate is securely bolted to the window-frame or fastened to the stonework. When a fire breaks out the apparatus is swung out of the winck)w on the iron plate. The entire weight isonlyaboul twenty- twopoiuids.

To escaiie from a burning building, you first put on a leather belt and slip a safel\- ht)ok on the wire rope of the apparatus into a ring on the belt. Then you mount the w i n d o w s i 1 1 , swing out the crane, and step into space. When you reach the ground, you slip off the bell. A coiled spring, which has been placed under tension as the result of your drop, winds up the rope auto- matically and is ready for the next passenger in line.

The speed of the drop is about time and one-half feet a second. The sjiring winds up the rope at the rate of se\enty feet a second.

Experts are inclined to regard the new means of escape as the most efficacious yet employed. Besides being swifter than the old method it is con-

���To escape from a burning build- ing, a belt is put on. a safety- hook is adjusted and a swift descent is made through space

In the detail illustration the crane of the apparatus is shown and the brake cylinders which regulate the speed of descent. A coiled spring just above the belt rewinds the rope automatically

sidered safer and the exit is apt to be less frenzied than down a stairway.


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