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Publication numberUS2462626 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 22, 1949
Filing dateJan 27, 1947
Priority dateJan 27, 1947
Publication numberUS 2462626 A, US 2462626A, US-A-2462626, US2462626 A, US2462626A
InventorsForster Joseph E
Original AssigneeForster Joseph E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Portable fire escape
US 2462626 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 22, 1949. J. E. FORSTER 2,462,626

PORTABLE FIRE ESCAPE Filed Jan. 27, 1947 Patented Feb. 22, 1949 "UNITED STATES FAT'ENT OFFICE PORTABLE FIRE ESCAPE Joseph E. Forster, Oakland, Calif. Application January 2'7, 1947, Serial No. 724,673

9 Claims. 1

This invention relates to improvements in fire escapes and provides a truly portable fire escape whichassures maximum safety coupled with convenient portability, protecting against accidental detachment, against loss of control and against falling, and which can be folded compactly to be carried in a case such "as a suit case. It is fire proof and can 'be used in connection with any suitable harness, or with a fireproof coverall with integral harness. The device is relatively light in weight, Weighing at best eight to nine pounds when constructed of lightweight material of high tensile strength. The device is proof against swaying because of unbalance or uneven air pressures, and can be used to ascend or descend to any'ffloor at will, or down to ground level.

Thus it is possible to select the safest way of escape. In case a fire rages on floors below the device can be used to ascend to a higher floor, and can 'be'used in any other room in case there is a safer passage therefrom.

The device can be provided in all rooms in hotels anda'partrnents ready for use, and yet is so relatively light, small and compact as to permil; its being carried along with other luggage, for cases where fire escapes areinadequate or do n'otexist, so that no one need be without means for escaping from aburning building.

Asis well known, many buildings have no outside fire escapes, and those that have are usually limited to one, or at most two, and these are usually located so that in the event of fire or fumes in the hallway blocking roomers from leaving their rooms, only those in direct access can use the permanent fire escapes, while those in non-communicating rooms will be barred from its use.

Other types of fire escapes include ropes, also tapes which are controlled by a Windlass contrivance. Ropes will obviously burn oif in case the flame reaches them, and they as also the tapes provide no alternative except to descend clear to the ground and usually have no protective features against falling. They cannot be used to ascend to a higher fioor which in some cases may be the safest way.

My invention permits a person to stop at any floor when descending, or permits climbing to a higher floor, while at all times protecting the person from accidentally falling and against slips, and permits one person to carry a second person to safety with full protection to both.

The objects and advantages of the invention 'areas'follows:

First, 'to provide a compact, lightweight fire 2.? escape which can be carried by a person ina conventional suit case or the like.

Second, to provide a fire escape as outlined which is extendible to reach from fioor to floor of a building.

Third, to provide a fire escape as outlined which can be used for descending to lower floors or ascending to higher floors at will.

Fourth, to provide a fire escape as outlined with a harness and special shock absorbing catch lines to limit the fall of a person to the level of the next window below.

Firth, to provide a fire escape as outlined with special spikes to simultaneously provide a slight outward incline to the escape device and to bite into the Wallto prevent swaying of the escape device.

Sixth, to provide combined hand holds and steps providing efiicient gripping means and nonslip steps.

Seventh, to provide releasable securing means for attachment and release of the escape device at will through operation from any point on the escape device.

Eighth, to provide an escape device as outlined in the form of lazy tongs which can be collapsed into a compact space.

Ninth, to provide fire escape means as outlined which is relatively simple in construction and economical to manufacture and which requires no special knowledge or experience for its use and therefore can be used by anyone capable of lifting as much as ten pounds, and therefore being universally useful.

In describing the invention reference will be made to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Fig. 1 is a front elevation of the fire escape in operative position.

Fig. 2 is a side elevation of Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 is a section taken on line 3-3 of Fig. 2.

Fig. 4 is a perspective view of a permanent fire escape releasable securing means.

Fig. 5 is a modification of the securing means for use when no permanent securing means is installed, and for luggage type fire escapes.

Fig. 6 is a sectional elevation of the locking means for locking the ladder in extended position against collapse.

The invention consists of a lazy tong which consists of a series of sections it each of which consists of a pair of crossed links H and I2 piv oted together centrally as indicated atiS and with the terminal ends of respective sectionspiv- 'otally joined as indicated at M and i5.

Fixedly mounted on "the respective terminal joints l4 and I5 are cooperative combination handholds and steps l6 and I1 which interlock as indicated at I8 when the tongs are extended, and these combination handholds and steps function simultaneously as spacers to limit the degree of opening or extension of the tongs so as to maintain adequate width of the structure as illustrated for stability, the two cooperative handholds and steps forming a single rung.

The upper end of the ladder is provided with releasable engaging or securing means and as illustrated in Fig. 2 is intended to cooperate with special engaging means such as the hooked elements l9 as clearly illustrated in Fig. 4, the terminal ends of the uppermost links being extended and having pins and 2! transversely fixed and adapted to engage in diagonal recesses 22 in the member IS.

The modification illustrated in Fig. 5 is for use with the luggage type of fire escape and consists of a hook member 23 to engage over a windowsill 24 and which is adjustable on the upper end of the ladder to compensate for difierent widths of window frames and ledges, the adjustment being illustrated as consisting of a slot 25 formed in the outer end of the hook and through which a pin 26 is slidable. A pin 2'! is placed in one of the holes 28 as indicated at 29 outside of the pin 26 to provide suitable adjustment, and the upper end of the ladder is offset as indicated at 30 to rest on the window ledge so that the weight of the ladder and its load will be carried by the upper end of the ladder instead of by the securing means, thus preventing accidental release of the ladder, or slipping.

Mounted on the back of the ladder at each terminal joint is a spike 3| which is hinged as indicated at 32 with stops 33 limiting the drop to a position at right angles to the ladder, and with the respective spikes increasing in length from top to bottom to incline the ladder.

The locking arrangement for the upper end of the ladder consists of a latch 34 which is hinged in one combination handhold and step l6 as indicated at 35 and which has aligning means 36 cooperative between the combination handhold and steps and terminates in a hook 3'! to prevent spreading of the ladder when the ladder is lifted from below.

As a portable fire escape, the unit can be 001- lapsed in the conventional way for lazy tongs, the spikes 3| folded back, so that the escape requires only a relatively small space, the entire unit including the harness 38 which is permanently attached to one of the upper rungs of the ladder by shock-absorbing strands 39 and 40 and including the engaging means 23 of Fig. 5, can be packed in a medium size suit case, and as the entire structure will be of the lightest possible material and structural shapes consistent with the strength required, the weight will not be excessive, the entire unit weighing only between eight and nine pounds.

For permanent installations the members [9 are permanently fixed on the window ledges, with the ladder and harness, together with other suitable equipment being stored in an accessible place.

In case of fire, the person first applies the harness, then opens the ladder, lowering it out of the window and catches the ladder in the recesses, or the member 23 is adjusted by means of the pin 21 for holding the upper end 30 on the ledge. There is no danger of the ladder getting away as it is tied to the person through the harproceeds, continuing until all have reached the next lower fioor.

The ladder is then donned by one person again, the ladder is then lifted to release it from the window above, and is then attached to the instant window, from which the escape is made to the next lower floor, and so on.

In case a person should slip or fall through dizziness, he can only fall as far as the lowest rung and will remain suspended there until he is able to recover and proceed. Thus there is complete safety for anyone using the fire escape.

Children can be carried down by adults, by special harnesses to carry by the shoulders of the adult, and special basket type harnesses not shown can be provided for carrying infants and children requiring special handling.

If the fire prevents escape downward, the ladder can be raised to engage the window above, and if the window is closed, the ladder can be used to smash the window so that it can be engaged in the case of the portable type. Or, the person may be able to get to a different room to f escape.

The spikes 3| bite into the wall 4| and thus stabilize the fire escape and simultaneously space the ladder from the wall.

I claim:

1. A fire escape comprising; lazy tongs havings a combination hand hold and tread fixedly mounted on the respective tong levers at the respective terminal joints, and means at one end of said lazy tongs for releasably securing the fire escape to a window ledge or the like; said combination hand holds and treads functioning as spacers to limit the degree of opening of the tongs for stability with the inner edges contacting and being disposed in the same level plane when the fire escape is suspended from a window ledge or the like.

2. A fire escape comprising; lazy tongs having a combination hand hold and tread fixedly mounted on the respective tong levers at the respective terminal joints, and means at one end of said lazy tongs for releasably securing the fire escape to a window ledge or the like; a spike hingedly mounted on the back of the fire escape at each terminal joint and foldable upwardly at will to provide compactness for carrying, and gravitationally dropping to engaging position when the fire escape is lowered from a window or the like, said spikes gradually increasing in length to provide slope to the fire escape and functioning to space the fire escape from the wall and to bite into the wall to secure the fire escape from swaying.

3. A fire escape comprising; lazy tongs having a combination hand hold and tread fixedly mounted on the respective tong levers at the respective terminal joints, and means at one end of said lazy tongs for releasably securing the fire escape to a window ledge or the like; said combination hand holds and treads functioning as spacers .to limit the degree of opening of the tongs for stability with the inner edges contacting and being disposed in the same level plane when the fire escape is suspended from a window ledge or the like; a spike hingedly mounted on the back of the fire escape at each terminal joint and foldable upwardly at will to provide compactness for carrying, and gravitationally dropping to engaging position when the fire escape is lowered from a window or the like, said spikes gradually increasing in length to provide slope to the fire escape and functioning to space the fire escape from the wall and to bite into the wall to secure the fire escape from swaying.

4. A portable fireescapecomprising;lazytongs; a combination handhold and step fixedly mounted on the respective links on the respective sides at each terminal link joint with said combination handholds and steps on the respective sides cooperating when the lazy tongs are extended to provide spacing means for limiting opening of the tongs to a predetermined degree to provide stability; and means for releasably securing one end of said tongs to a window ledge or the like and releasable at will by lifting the fire escape.

5. A structure as defined in claim 4; locking means for the upper end of the fire escape and releasable at will, said locking means functioning to secure the lazy tongs against collapse when the fire escape is raised from a lower point to release the fire escape from said means for releasably securing.

6. A portable fire escape comprising; lazytongs a combination handhold and step fixedly mounted on the respective links on the respective sides at each terminal link joint with said combination handholds and steps on the respective sides cooperating when the lazy tongs are extended to provide spacing means for limiting opening of the tongs to a predetermined degree to provide stability; means for releasably securing one end of said tongs to a window ledge or the like and releasable at will by lifting the fire escape; looking means for the upper end of the fire escape and releasable at will, said locking means functioning to secure the lazy tongs against collapse when the fire escape is raised from a lower point to release the fire escape from said means for releasably securing; spikes mounted on the rearward side of said lazy tongs at the respective terminal joints for spacing the fire escape from a wall and for biting into the wall to stabilize the fire escape.

7. A structure as defined in claim 4; a spike hingedly mounted at each terminal joint on the rearward side of said lazy tongs and foldable upwardly against the lazy tongs for compactness when the fire escape is not in use and including stop means to limit opening to a position substantially right angularly to the fire escape and gravitationally assuming that position when the fire escape is lowered from a window or the like.

8. A fire escape comprising; lazy tongs; a combined handhold and step fixedly mounted at each terminal joint of the tongs and coincidently functioning as spacing means by mutual cooperation to maintain the lazy tongs against excess opening to maintain stability, releasable locking means for locking the uppermost pair of combination handholds and steps when the tongs are in extended position to secure the tongs against collapse when lifted from the lower end, means for releasably attaching the upper end of said tongs to a window ledge or other window support and releasable at will by lifting the tongs.

9. A ladder comprising; lazy tongs having a combination handhold and step mounted at each terminal joint of said tongs and cooperating as spacers for limiting the degree of opening of the tongs when the tongs are extended, and aligning means cooperative between cooperative pairs of said combination handholds and steps, and releasable locking means for the upper end of said tongs to secure the lazy tongs against collapse, and releasable at will for folding the ladder into a compact space.

JOSEPH E. FORSTER.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 209,916 Ochsner Nov. 12, 1878 942,683 Vaghi Dec. 7, 1909 1,630,484 Fritts May 31, 1927 2,182,277 Boor Dec. 5, 1939

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US209916 *Aug 15, 1878Nov 12, 1878 Improvement in fire-escapes
US942683 *Jan 28, 1909Dec 7, 1909Joseph VaghiLadder.
US1630484 *Oct 20, 1924May 31, 1927Fritts George ELadder-climbing device
US2182277 *Sep 10, 1938Dec 5, 1939Gravity Ladders LtdCollapsible ladder
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2758770 *Mar 30, 1954Aug 14, 1956Martin MahlerLadder
US3169503 *May 28, 1963Feb 16, 1965Berliner Dev CompanyDemountable boat ladder
US7922269 *Oct 17, 2007Apr 12, 2011Adc Telecommunications, Inc.Cabinet assembly including a scissors lift
Classifications
U.S. Classification182/157, 182/93, 182/9, 182/69.5, 182/69.1
International ClassificationE06C9/00, E06C9/14, E06C1/54, E06C1/00
Cooperative ClassificationE06C9/14
European ClassificationE06C9/14