Escape Chute Shown
The first American demonstration of a vertical fire escape chute was held in December at the New York City Fire Academy on Randall’s Island.
The chute, which is manufactured by the Uyeda Escape Chute Construction Co., Ltd., of Japan, is designed for use on the third through 20th floors of most buildings. It has been approved as a secondary method of escape in 28 countries.
In operation, an inside metal storage cabinet is removed and the chute readied for use simply by lowering it out the window and pulling up the entrance frame. The chute allows a descent speed of between 2.18 and 5.91 yards per second. At the bottom of the chute is an exit capsule which is located about 30 inches above ground level. The capsule is designed to allow the user to stay inside in stable state and then exit easily.
Approximately 12,000 buildings in Japan, including the Royal Hotel and the new Sumitomo office building in Osaka, are equipped with over 60,000 Uyeda escape chutes, according to the manufacturer. Well over 250,000 drills involving millions of people have been held.
The demonstration was sponsored by Sumitomo Corporation of America along with the Uyeda Escape Chute Construction Co., with the cooperation of New York City Fire Commissioner Augustus A. Beekman.