We have all had to endure this: The fire alarm goes off, it is freezing outside, but we are not allowed to get our coats and one by one, like zombies we walk out into the office grounds or across the road because this is a fire alarm safety test. But in days gone by it wasn’t about ‘safety first’ it was all about ‘last one out is a rotten egg!’ so with my fire role call clipboard in hand ready to name check everyone, it is time to slide…
10 – Liverpool
This one is located outside the Liverpool Maritime Museum and while it is no longer in use because they probably have some advanced fire alarm safety system it is a great example of these classic fire escapes. Spiral slide to safety? Yes, please!
9 – Georgia
This rather wide spiral fire escape chute located in Georgia Baptist Hospital can apparently empty the entire place in just a few minutes! As for those too ill to move there are no worries because it is so wide it can take a single mattress as well!
8 – Shanghai
This fire escape chute is unusual for 2 reasons. 1) It is located inside the building rather than outside. 2) This one folds away when not in use! Do visit the link and check out the video of it folding down because it is well worth seeing if only for the cool factor.
7 – Nebraska
They might well look like laundry chutes or maybe rubbish chutes, but they are definitely for human use. Were they comfortable? No! Were they safe? No! But that why they are a thing of the past, replaced by better smoke detectors and early detection fire alarms.
6 – Texas
What strikes me odd about this one is not only is the top section stairs, but also the steepness of it! Imagine the speed you would be going by the time you got to the bottom!
5 – Oregon
More poop chute than safety chute these days, but still rather amazing to look at. Sure they made it a quick exit out of the building, but most of them were not safe at all.
4 – Korea
In kindergartens all over both North and South Korea, they have these fire escapes. Most of them multi-coloured to make them more fun and child-friendly. After all, in the event of a fire, it can be a scary time for any child so something bright and fun might keep things calm.
3 – Japan
Over in Japan, it is quite normal to see these fire safety measures attached to the side of the buildings, but meanwhile, here in the UK they are but a thing of the past, a distant memory.
2 – Cheyenne
What I really liked about this image is that it showed a little boy not only in the chute and how big they were, but it was taken as part of a fire practice session! And that’s my point, back then they were fun, as a child even more so because you got to go down a big slide!
1 – Kansas City, Missouri
In some parts of the World, these fire escape chutes are still used even today! But looking at this image of a net style one located in the Whiteman Air Force Base looks rather scary indeed. So I think I will stick to a good old-fashioned fire alarm and a walk down the stairs.