Designer Creates a Fire Escape Tunnel for High-Rise Buildings

A British designer has created a unique life-saving evacuation chute he claims it ‘could have emptied Grenfell Tower in 20 minutes’.

Eric Hooper, 72, said watching live coverage of the devastating fire that killed at least 80 people left him ‘frustrated as hell’.

He said fitting the escape tube on the 21-floor residential block could have saved countless lives when it was ravaged by the inferno in June.
The chute can be adapted to fit any building.

The designer from Stockwell, London, said: ‘All the time I was thinking that a simple chute system would have evacuated all the entrapped victims.

‘Whichever systems was installed at Grenfell it would have evacuated at the rate of 20 to 25 evacuees per minute.

‘For the price of a cup of coffee per day per person in the building they could have paid for a system in a year.’

He added: ‘I know for a fact that had this device been on Grenfell it could have saved I don’t know how many lives… I wonder why they never went down the stairs.’
Evacuees enter the escape tubes from hatches on separate floors.

This gives residents a safe means of escape when stairs become filled with thick smoke and debris.
Activating a mechanism at each entry point unfolds a multi-layered chute that children and the elderly can use to vertically slide down to lower floors.
The fire-resistant device supports a user by the waist who then controls the speed of descent by pressing against the tube’s sides.

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NFPA Announces Fire Prevention Week Theme: ‘Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out’

Nearly half of all Americans have not developed a home fire escape plan. Of those that have, one-quarter have never practiced it. These and other findings from a recent survey conducted by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) prompted the official theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, October 8-14, 2017: “Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out™”

“The results from our most recent survey show we still have a lot of work to do in educating the public about home fires, escape planning and practice. Among the findings, people tend to think they have more time to escape a home fire than they actually do,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president for Outreach and Advocacy. “That over-confidence may play a role in why some people don’t develop a home escape plan or practice it regularly.”

Home escape planning and practice can make a life-saving difference in a home fire. “In a fire situation, a regularly practiced home escape plan ensures that everyone in the home knows what to do if the smoke alarm sounds and can escape quickly and safely,” said Carli.

“Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out” works to teach the public what a home escape plan entails, and the value of practicing it with all members of the household. This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign also works to better educate the public about just how quickly home fires can spread, and how little time they may have to escape safely.

“Today’s home fires spread more rapidly than they used to,” said Carli. “The synthetic fibers used in modern home furnishings, along with the fact that newer homes tend to be built with more open spaces and unprotected lightweight construction, all contribute to an increased rate at which fire burns. These factors make home escape planning and practice all the more critical.” Experts say you could have less than two minutes to escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds.

A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home. Home escape plans should be practiced twice a year by all members of the household.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week and this year’s campaign, “Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out,” visit

About Fire Prevention Week
NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week since 1922. According to the National Archives and Records Administration’s Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The President of the United States has signed a proclamation declaring a national observance during that week every year since 1925. Visit for more safety information.

Source: National Fire Protection Association