Are you working or living in a skyscraper? Then this is a technology you should considering owning in close quarters to help you in emergencies such as fire accidents. There may be situations when not everyone in a building can exit through the fire-exit stairway. At times, the only option could be jumping out of a window, which is not a very safe option in most circumstances. If we look at statistics, there were approximately 1.3 million fire accidents reported in the U.S. in 2014, of which over 19,000 people died – many due to the inability to jump out of windows safely.
With a skyline dotted with the tops of towering skyscrapers, it comes as no surprise that a New York-based company has found a solution to jump to safety. Skysaver Backpack has invented a self-rescue device with an aim to reduce the number of deaths in such situations.
The skysaver backpack is powered by a controlled descent device (CDD) to ensure that the wearer descends safely. The company claims that anyone who weighs between 30kg and 150 kg can securely descend to safety at a speed of 3 to 6 feet/sec. The device works at temperatures as high as 175° Fahrenheit, and as low as -31° Fahrenheit.
As per public data, Skysaver has one patent in this technology domain – a PCT application WO2016056005 – which was filed less than a year ago. The patent application describes a centrifugal brake mechanism in CDD to limit the rate of descent. The system comprises a rotatable circular wheel and a rotatable axle extending along inside the wheel. A gear sub-system is included to transfer the rotations of the wheel into the axle. Further, a plurality of brake elements is included, and a friction enhancement mechanism is provided to aid the brake mechanism.
There are multiple other patents in this domain from other companies, including Mine Safety Appliances and Rescue Technologies Ltd. For example, patent US6810997 from Mine Safety Appliances is related to a CDD for controlled descent of a user from an upper level to a lower level. The CDD comprises a rotatable drum and a line around the drum. Further, a brake mechanism is included to produce sufficient resisting force during line extraction.
Similarly, patent US20070261921 from Rescue Technologies discloses a portable apparatus for controlled descent. The apparatus comprises a rotatable reel around which a cable is wound. A drum is mounted around the reel in a coaxial fashion. Certain breaking means are provided to the reel to break its rotational motion, and to balance the descending speed of the user.
Mine Safety Appliances and Rescue Technologies is another company that works in the space similar to the rescue backpack from SkySaver. It provides self-rescue products including Anthron Descender and LatchwaysPersonal Rescue Device (from Mine Safety Appliances), and RescueTech Rescuer (from Rescue Technologies) that provide quick support to individuals trying to escape exigencies from skyscrapers.
However, SkySaver’s backpack stands out because it can withstand temperatures as high as 175° Fahrenheit, and as low 31° Fahrenheit for eight continuous hours. This means that even if a person needs to hang for safety from a skyscraper, the backpack is designed and tested under extreme conditions to offer comfort with care.
(Featured image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sky_saver2-raw-364-Edit.jpg)