Fire poles, invented in the 1870s, are becoming a thing of the past. Why? Liability, of course! Already, Seattle has banned fire poles after a firefighter fell and suffered brain injuries last year, resulting in a lawsuit that was settled for $13 million. New fire stations are mostly single-story, contain multiple staircases, or, in some cases, slides. From Time:
While some new stations in the U.S. still include poles, the National Fire Protection Association aims to change that. "Fire departments are questioning the need for a fire pole and going with regular stairs," says Ken Willette, a retired fire chief in Massachusetts who now manages the association's public fire-protection division. "If there was a fire pole, we would want it enclosed so nobody stumbles into it in the middle of the night..."
"The pole is something we associated with as kids," says Scott Wolf, a partner at the architectural firm Miller Hull, which designed Seattle's Lake City station that opened in June and another station set to open in the Greenwood neighborhood in 2011. "But the pole has been one of the biggest sources of firefighter injury."
No matter the conduit, getting firefighters to the equipment as quickly and directly as possible remains critical. Susi Rosenthal, an assistant fire chief in Seattle who oversees the city's facilities, says poles have always been a personal decision anyway. "I always prefer stairs," the 30-year veteran says. "As long as you get there at the same time, it doesn't matter. In my experience, the younger you are, the more likely you are to slide a pole."
"Sorry, Kids. Fire Stations Are Ditching Fire Poles
(photo: "firepole at Eugene, Oregon firestation #1 open house" by drcorneilus)
Hey, it’s your ol’ pal Joel! Used to write a gadget blog that wasn’t about gadgets? Man, great to see you. No, no, have a seat. Can we get a couple of…yeah, no ice, thanks.So let’s get business out of the way before we eat: One of my clients is launching a Kickstarter today and […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
For more than a decade, University of Southern California neuro-engineer Theodore Berger has been working on an artificial hippocampus, an electronic aid for the part of the brain that scientists believe encodes experiences as long-term memories. Now Berger and a new startup called Kernel are confident that the device is ready for prime time. “We’re […]
While Netflix and Hulu have seemingly dominated the streaming market with their limited selections, we’ve looked a little outside the box and found something pretty great as an alternative. SelectTV combines all the content of cable with the convenience of streaming, and it’s affordable too.SelectTV is an online subscription service that packs an impressive library of over […]
These days, the vape market is saturated with low-quality products, making it nearly impossible to separate the gems from the duds. The Atmos Rx Dry Herb Vaporizer stands out from crowd for two reasons: its impressive battery life and durable construction. This high-end little gadget is compact enough to fit in your pocket, and packs a powerful punch, […]
If you’re like us, you occasionally get ambitious with your dinner and try to cook multiple sides plus a main dish. These efforts usually end as a cold meal plus a pile of dishes to wash. MasterPan Multi-Sectional Meal Skillet makes it super easy to make multiple dishes at once without the hassle. This heavy gauge bottom pan […]