Positioning Portable Ladders for Work on Fire Escapes

BY MICHAEL N. CIAMPO Fire escapes are designed and meant to provide a safe emergency egress route for tenants who can't use the interior stairs during a fire. Although they may seem like a safe and effective way to escape from the structure, we as firefighters must question just how reliable they are when numerous victims are on them. We must also consider that many of these people are already in a state of panic because of the fire; they will be even more upset because their normal escape route is blocked. In addition, they are now using an emergency exit with narrow passageways, stairs, and ladders, which they might have never even considered using before. Exposure to escaping smoke, he...

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