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June 28, 2004 12:01 AM

Broken: Fire Exit... in the ceiling

Charlotte Gonella writes:

I took this pic when on a duty trip to one of our offices in Zagreb, Croatia. The fire exit is about 8 feet above floor level, and there are no access instructions. Not sure how this would help in the event of a fire, and gladly I didn't have to find out!


It looks like a simple pull-down ladder. You pull the latch on the door and it opens and the ladder slides down.

Of course, you'd have to have the intelligence to figure that out, but if the flames were licking your derriere it might inspire you...

Posted by: Mike at June 29, 2004 05:12 AM

Mike: But eight feet above the floor? I'm 6'3" (nearly two meters) and I'm not sure I could reach that tiny latch even if I jumped.

Posted by: LafinJack at June 29, 2004 12:32 PM

Maybe it isn't a ladder. Perhaps for if the bus is knocked over? Unlikely.

Posted by: never mind that at June 29, 2004 10:57 PM

Well, that's how I'd like to escape from a fire - by climbing up a ladder into the asphyxiating smoke...

Emergency escape routes should not require any "intelligence" to "figure out", they should be obvious and usable by the dullest and most dim-witted.

Posted by: Another Mouse at June 29, 2004 11:28 PM

But that will break the natural selection process...

Posted by: mikew at June 30, 2004 01:24 AM

That is fucking high!!!! Dunno how people can reach that, maybe their policy is to forbide a person going up, 2 or people is allow to go up.

Posted by: Name at June 30, 2004 09:46 AM

Is this on the first floor? This may seem odd, but perhaps its not broken at ALL. Maybe there is a ladder or something on the floor above it, and you escape to the first floor via the ladder... and the developers are warning people that others may come bolting through that spot in the event of a fire

Posted by: ruff_ilb at June 30, 2004 04:02 PM

The 2nd Floor Exit was my thought, as well -- perhaps it should read "Emergency Exit - In case of Fire, beware of bodies tumbling from the ceiling!"

Posted by: Joey at July 1, 2004 05:56 PM

_@_v - so what's up with the open electrical box with the exposed wires dangling from it behind that 'door'? they damned determined to START a fire?

Posted by: she-snailie _@_v at July 2, 2004 07:00 AM

LatinJack, you could most certainly reach that latch especially if you jumped. Think -- how long are your arms? If you said "about 3 feet" then you are CORRECT! Take your height, subtract a foot for your head, and raise your arms. You've got about 8 feet right there. Even if that doesn't reach, chances are you've got sufficient vertical leap to reach the latch.

Posted by: Don Diego at July 2, 2004 03:49 PM

I'll agree, a 6'3" person should be able to open that.

I'm a hair under 6' and I can just touch an 8' ceiling while *standing* on my toes. The picture doesn't give enough details to show how it opens but I would expect something you can grab.

On the other hand, my 4'10" short-armed wife would be helpless when faced with such a door.

Posted by: Loren Pechtel at July 5, 2004 04:36 PM

The ladder could be solenoid latched, where when the fire alarm trips it automatically drops down and opens.

Posted by: Roastbeef at July 10, 2004 12:30 AM

I wonder if I can send in all our broken things we say in these comments.

Posted by: Nathan Hughes at July 16, 2004 07:05 PM

There is definately a ring that you can pull to open the hatch. If you look closely in the large view, it's there.

What's REALLY broken is that open electrical box. I'm no electrician, but my father is, and he'd probably throttle whoever was responsable for that if he caught him.

Posted by: Nikkou at August 14, 2004 08:43 PM

if it isnt for ppl from, say, a second floor, to get to the first... then their is a serious design flaw. weren't we all taught to "stop, drop, and roll"... i.e. get LOW... not higher. all the smoke rises... you are supposed to stay low to the ground... AND why on earth would you want to go to a higher floor? are we all to hope that a helicopter is going to rescue everyone from the roof?

Posted by: tripp at February 14, 2005 06:27 PM

If it was a solenoid latch what would happen if the fire burned away the wires that connected to the latch or it could be that there is power always going to it and when there is a fire it will cut the power and the door will open, but what would happen if you were walking under that door and the power went out. BOOM right in the head.

Posted by: unknown at March 14, 2005 09:44 PM

Don Diego:

That's right... He may have sufficient vertical leap to reach that handle, but think about this... Who wants to jump for the handle of the exit door when a fire is raging in the next room? It is likely that anyone jumping for the handle will be somewhat preocupado with keeping an eye on the fire...

Posted by: chaos at April 22, 2005 04:40 PM

it's apparently for if the building tips over! DUH!!!

Posted by: Ben at May 30, 2005 11:02 AM

I agree with Don Diego. And why isn't there a rope to pull down the exit door????

Posted by: Joel at July 22, 2005 01:32 AM

yo yo yo yo yo yo yo that is higher than the sky yo yo yo yo yo

Posted by: yomama at April 18, 2006 12:45 AM

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