US3415341A - Emergency fire escape - Google Patents

Emergency fire escape Download PDF

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US3415341A
US3415341A US64639867A US3415341A US 3415341 A US3415341 A US 3415341A US 64639867 A US64639867 A US 64639867A US 3415341 A US3415341 A US 3415341A
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plate
step
plates
support
building
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Expired - Lifetime
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Ernest R Hostetler
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Ernest R. Hostetler
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E06DOORS, WINDOWS, SHUTTERS, OR ROLLER BLINDS IN GENERAL; LADDERS
    • E06CLADDERS
    • E06C7/00Component parts, supporting parts, or accessories
    • E06C7/08Special construction of longitudinal members, or rungs or other treads
    • E06C7/081Rungs or other treads comprising anti-slip features
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E06DOORS, WINDOWS, SHUTTERS, OR ROLLER BLINDS IN GENERAL; LADDERS
    • E06CLADDERS
    • E06C1/00Ladders in general
    • E06C1/52Ladders in general with non-rigid longitudinal members
    • E06C1/56Rope or chain ladders

Description

Dec. 10, 1968 E. R. HOSTETLER EMERGENCY FIRE ESCAPE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 15, 1967 'ELLLQ. ATTORNEYZS' INVENTOR EtzNss-r 2. H051 ETLER.

BY (15M mwwk fi qy w "lg-i 1968 E. R. HOSTETLER 3,415,341

EMERGENCY FIRE ES CAP E Filed June 15, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR ERNEST [2.HOSTETLEE ATTORNEYS United States Patent O M 3,415,341 EMERGENCY FIRE ESCAPE Ernest R. Hostetler, Rte. 2, Edom Road, Harrisonburg, Va. 22801 Filed June 15, 1967, Ser. No. 646,398 3 Claims. (Cl. 182-198) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A stackable ladder having a plurality of stackable metal step plates connected by flexible ropes, or chains extending through each end of the step plates with an open space being provided on one side of each step plate to enable obtainment of a hand hold on each step when the ladder is extended adjacent a building wall with the step plates engaging the wall.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention provides a new and unobvious improvement in the field of ladders in general, and more specifically, in the field of emergency escape ladders for use in escaping from burning buildings.

The prior art is replete with various forms of devices for enabling occupants to escape from burning buildings. For example, many have been constructed with exterior metal fire escapes in a large variety of forms permanently attached to the outside wall of the building so that occupants may descend from the building in case of a fire. However, such exterior fire escapes suffer from a number of serious disadvantages in that they also provide accesses to the interior of the building from the outside so that criminals or other undesirable persons can enter the building without permission or knowledge of the building occupants.

Another disadvantage of the exterior type fire escape is that it inherently takes up a large amount of exterior space which could be better used for other purposes. Also, such exterior fire escapes often mar the outer appearance of a building to a great extent and are not normally suitable for a conventional family dwelling.

Still another disadvantage of the known forms of exteriorly mounted fire escapes is their inherently large cost. This factor, regretably, results in the elimination of fire escapes in many instances in buildings that should have such from a safety aspect.

The above mentioned defects of the permanently installed exterior fire escape systems have resulted in a number of attempts to provide an interiorly stored system in the form of a rope-ladder or the like to be extended from a window on the upper floor of a building. Devices of this type, while not wholly unsatisfactory, have suffered from a number of deficiencies which this invention overcomes.

For example, US. Patent No. 266,183 discloses a stackable fire escape consisting of a plurality of steps connected by metal connector plates. The steps are flat and extend vertically along the wall of the building to which they are attached and the complete device is both complex, clumsy and heavy.

US. Patent No. 647,628 discloses another form of flexible ladder type fire escape in which steps connected by a wire extending through each end of the steps are supported adjacent a building wall. The steps are flat and do not provide a satisfactory hand hold for the user and are consequently dangerous to use particularly when the user is an elderly person.

3,415,341 Patented Dec. 10, 1968 Yet another conventional emergency fire escape of the type consisting of an extensible flexible ladder is illus trated in US. Patent No. 2,102,484 which discloses a plurality of steps 12 of rectangular construction and which are connected by end chains 11]) extending through each end thereof. The ladder of this patent is also deficient in that no adequate hand hold is provided for the user due to the fact that the steps are rectangular and nohand hold is provided when they are positioned against the building wall as shown in FIGURE 2 of the patent.

Therefore, in view of the above comments, it will be readily appreciated that the prior art devices have all suffered from the common defect of failing to provide adequate hand hold means on the ladder steps. Furthermore, they have also been cumbersome and complicated so that they are both difficult and/or expensive to assemble.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Therefore, it is a primary object of this invention to provide a new and improved fire escape means.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a new and improved flexible suspension ladder construction.

Yet another object of this invention is the provision of a new and improved flexible ladder construction that provides a hand-hold on each ladder step when the steps are engaged with a vertical wall of a building.

These and other objects of this invention are achieved by the provision of a stackable ladder formed of a plurality of elongated metal step plates having first and second support lines or ropes extending through each end thereof. The step plates are shaped rectangularly but have legs extending from each end in a lateral direction to engage a wall of the building with which they are associated so that an open space is provided along the main portion of the step plate between the step plate and the building wall. The step plates are provided with a hollow interior so that each step can be stacked adjacent a window upon a next adjacent step with the flexible line stored within the hollow area. Consequently, the ladder can be neatly store on the interior of the building adjacent a window and is readily available for lowering from the window when the need for use arises.

Another feature of this invention resides in the particular manner in which the ropes or lines extending through the step plates are attached to the steps to support same. This is accomplished by means of first and second slots on each end of the steps through which the ropes are passed for subsequent fastening by means of clamp means attached to upper and lower retaining plates adjacent each end of each step plate. This construction enables a rapid assembly of the ladder at a great savings of time and effort.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of this invention illustrating the invention extending along a building wall;

FIGURE 2 illustrates the preferred embodiment in its stacked condition on a window sill;

FIGURE 3 is an exploded perspective view of the end construction of each step plate of the preferred embodiment;

FIGURE 4 is a top plan view of a step plate of the preferred embodiment;

FIGURE 5 is a bottom plan view of a step plate of the preferred embodiment;

3 FIGURE 6 is a sectional view taken along lines 66 of FIGURE 4; and

FIGURE 7 is a sectional view taken along lines 7-7 of FIGURE 6.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Attention is initially invited to FIGURE 1 of the drawings which illustrates the preferred embodiment of the invention in its vertically deployed position descending from a window of a building.

The preferred embodiment, generally designated 20, consists of a plurality of identical elongated metal step plates 22 formed of aluminum or other satisfactorily light and strong metal by any conventional stamping, casting or other conventional manufacturing process.

Each of the step plates 22 has a pair of support lines or ropes 24 extending through its outer ends as best shown in FIGURE 1. The supoprt lines are made of any conventional material such as nylon, hemp or the like or they may be in the form of chains. The support lines are fastened to each of the step plates by means to be discussed hereinafter. The lines 24 may also be formed of flexible wire cable if desired.

FIGURE 4 illustrates a top plan view of a step plate 22. A central main body portion 26 is provided in each step plate and first and second positioning legs 28 extend integrally from the main body portion. The main body portion and positioning legs 28 are each formed from an integral top plate 30 (FIG. 7) which has a downwardly extending flange 32 about its entire periphery with the exception of the area defined by a pair of slots 34 (FIG. 4) formed in each end of the step plate. The purpose of slots 34 will be set forth in detail hereinafter.

The downwardly extending flange 32 is turned inwardly to provide a short horizontal flange 36 about its entire extent. Flange 36 serves the dual purpose of strengthening the step plate and providing a flat surface 38 which when grasped by the hand of the user, will not create any danger of cutting the users hand.

The top surface plate 30 of each step plate is provided with three or more longitudinally extending ridges 38. Ridges 38 greatly strengthen and rigidify each step plate and also provide a means for enhancing the friction capabilities of the step in that such ridges will prevent a users foot from easily slipping on the step plate.

A lateral ridge 40 is provided in each end of the step plate and is separated into three distinct parts by slots 34 as best illustrated in FIGURE 4. The laterally extending ridges 40' also serve to strengthen the step plate.

The manner in which the flexible lines 24 are attached to each end of the step plate will now be discussed in detail with particular reference to FIGURES 3, 6 and 7. Each of the lines 24 passes through the innermost extent of its respective slot 34 and a support plate 42 is positioned beneath top plate 30 as shown in FIGURE 7. Each support plate 42 has a pair of open slots 44 spaced apart alongs its length a distance equal to the spacing of the respective slots 34 on one end of the step plate 22 as shown in FIGURE 3. A clamp 46 is attached to each plate 42 in position surrounding each slot 44 as shown.

Clamps 46 are crimped into binding engagement with their respective lines 24 as shown in FIGURE 7 so that the line cannot slide through the respective clamps. Consequently, plate 42 provides a support for each of the step plates 22 by virtue of this construction.

An upper retaining plate 48 (FIG. 3) is provided adjacent the top surface of the step plate for preventing the movement of the step plate upwardly with respect to lines 24. Plate 48 is of similar construction to plate 42 but is of smaller size since it does not have to provide resistance to as large a force as does plate 42 which must support the users weight. It should be noted that plate 48 is provided with clamps 50 which are clamped on each line 24 in the same manner as are clamps 46 of plate 42. The exterior edge of plate 48 is located immediately adjacent the lateral ridge 50 as best shown in FIGURE 6.

The ladder is assembled by initially passing the line through slot 34 to the inner extent of the slot. The respective plates 42 and 48 are then positioned so that their clamps 46 and 50 engage each of the respective lines and the clamps are then subsequently crimped to the respective lines. The assembly is a rapidly achievable procedure requiring little skill so that the ladders can be produced with a minimum amount of labor cost in a very quick time. The provision of the end slot 34 and the unique manner of passing the lines through the plates 42 and 48 is largely responsible for the ease of manufacture.

In use, the step plates 22 are normally stacked on a window sill or the like 52 as shown in FIGURE 2. They can be stacked either on the interior or the exterior of the building. The upper end of line 24 is attached to the side of the window sill at 54. However, it should be noted that the upper end of the line can be attached at any convenient point as determined by the specific structural nature of the building with which the device is associated. The interior space beneath plate 30 within the confines of flange 32 provides ample area for the portion of line 24 between adjacent plates to be folded out of sight. Consequently, the plates are neatly stacked with the lines 24 being invisible except for that portion of th line extending from the topmost plate to the attachment point 54.

In the event of an emergency, the user merely drops the entire stack of plates downwardly from the window to assume the extended position illustrated in FIGURE 1. In this position, each of the positioning legs 28 rests against the vertical building wall as shown in FIGURE 1. Consequently, the main body portion 26 of each step 22 is spaced outwardly from the building wall and an open space 58 is provided through which a users hand can extend to grasp the step plate. Each step plate resists tilting caused by the handhold due to the tautness of lines 24 created by the weight of the user. This provides a uniquely distinct advantage over the prior known devices which have not enabled such a hand hold for the user.

While only a preferred embodiment of the invention has been disclosed, it should be understood that other modifications will occur to those skilled in the art which will not depart from the spirit and scope of this invention as set forth and defined by the appended claims. It is, there fore, to be clearly understood that this invention has been illustrated merely in the form of a preferred embodiment and its scope is deter-mined solely by the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A stackable ladder for emergency use in buildings for extension along a wall of the building in a vertical direction from an upper building member, said ladder comprising:

a plurality of stackable elongated rigid metal step plates each having an elongated main body portion and having two support line receiving slots extending axially inwardly a given distance from each end of said body portion;

positioning legs on each end of each metal step plate and extending inwardly toward said building wall when said ladder is in its vertically extended position so that the main body portion of said metal step plate is spaced from said building wall and an open area exists between said main body portion of each of said metal step plates and said building wall to enable a users hand to be extended into said open area to grasp the main body portion to provide a firm hand hold when using said ladder;

first and second flexible support lines respectively mounted in the innermost portions of said support line receiving slots to extend through said step plates;

attaching means comprising first and second rectangu;

lar metal support plates mounted adjacent the lower side of each elongated metal step plate on the respective ends of each elongated step plate and including first and second slots respectively extending inwardly a metal clamp member extending downwardly from said support plates from the portion of said support plates immediately adjacent the innermost ends of a peripheral downwardly extending flange around the periphery of said elongated metal plate and said positioning legs to provide an open space surrounded by said flange within said flexible support lines are from one longitudinal edge of said support plate and 5 contained when said steps are stacked in a vertical align-able with said support line receiving slots with array with said flanges being interrupted at the ends the slots in said first and second support plates asof said end slots of said step plates and extending sociated with each step plate facing inwardly toward downwardly a sufficient distance to fully enclose said each other; support plates, clamp members and flexible lines; and first and second crimpable clamping means comprising 10 wherein said support plates are of such a width that said downwardly extending flange is adjacent the outer edge of said support plates and prevents outward movement of said support plates.

said slots in said support plates and each fixedly clamped to the line passing through its associated slot to retain said line in fixed relation to said support plate so that the two plates associated with each step plate support said step plates horizontally equidistantly apart when said ladder is in its vertical extended position;

first and second step plate upward movement preventing metal plates having first and second slots extending inwardly from one longitudinal edge of said upward movement preventing metal plates and alignable with said line receiving slots in said step plate 2. The invention of claim 1 additionally including longitudinally extending ribs extending along the top of each step plate and a laterally extending rib on the top of each step plate adjacent the end of each step plate outwardly of said upward movement preventing plates. 7

3. The invention of claim 2 additionally including an 20 inwardly extending flange about the bottom of said downwardly extending flange.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS with each upper line retaining plate being respeetive- 800934 10/1905 McArthur 182*19 9 3,085,651 4/1963 RlCh 182-228 1y mounted ad acent the end of the upper side of each end of said elongated metal step plates and EI ATENTS including first and second means extending upward- 126 045 9/1949 S d ly from the portion of said upper retaining plate ad- 798,371 7/1958 Great Britain,

jacent the innermost ends of said slots in said upper line retaining plate for clamping said flexible lines in fixed position with respect to said upper metal plates so that said upper line retaining plates prevent the steps from moving upwardly on said support lines;

REINALDO P. MACHADO, Primary Examiner.

P Us. or. X.R. 30 182-199, 228

US3415341A 1967-06-15 1967-06-15 Emergency fire escape Expired - Lifetime US3415341A (en)

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Cited By (20)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3677366A (en) * 1971-07-02 1972-07-18 Emil Loeffel Self-storing fire escape ladder
DE2238419A1 (en) * 1972-08-04 1974-02-14 Edelmann & Ridder Ladder rung
DE2548867A1 (en) * 1975-10-31 1977-05-05 Wilhelm Luckey Coiled emergency fire escape ladder - comprises noncombustible metal side strips and stackable metal rungs
US4177878A (en) * 1978-05-01 1979-12-11 Salvarezza Robert M Rope ladder
US4241809A (en) * 1979-08-13 1980-12-30 Salvarezza Robert M Rope ladder with molded hard elastomer steps and a method for assembly of the same
US4298097A (en) * 1980-03-11 1981-11-03 Eriksson Lars O Escape-ladder
US4442920A (en) * 1982-09-30 1984-04-17 Steelstran Industries, Incorporated Collapsible ladder
EP0145695A2 (en) * 1983-12-14 1985-06-19 André Jansen Emergency ladder
US4554996A (en) * 1985-04-12 1985-11-26 Salvarezza Robert M Rope ladder with molded hard elastomer steps and replacement steps and collars therefor
US4655321A (en) * 1986-08-29 1987-04-07 Salvarezza Robert M Rope ladder with molded hard elastomer steps and method for assemblying the ladder therefor
US4815561A (en) * 1987-05-22 1989-03-28 Ostrander Gary L Escape device
US4852688A (en) * 1988-06-27 1989-08-01 Strohmeyer Sr Robert W Collapsible ladder assembly
WO1996005401A1 (en) * 1994-08-12 1996-02-22 Brk Brands, Inc. Readily deployable portable escape ladder
US6279681B1 (en) * 1998-05-11 2001-08-28 X-It Products, Llc Collapsible ladder having highly nesting rungs with integral stand-off projections
US6530455B1 (en) 2000-08-11 2003-03-11 Walter Kidde Portable Equipment, Inc. Escape ladder
WO2013165258A1 (en) 2012-05-04 2013-11-07 Northwestcoast As Ships ladder
US9333383B1 (en) * 2014-04-17 2016-05-10 Darrell Barton Weighted agility ladder
US20170072240A1 (en) * 2015-09-16 2017-03-16 Yi Ni Wu Step movement training device
US9611692B1 (en) * 2013-01-25 2017-04-04 Apollomarine Specialties, Inc. Rope ladder rung and method of manufacture
US20170145747A1 (en) * 2015-08-27 2017-05-25 Robert M. Salvarezza Enhanced strength spreader step for use with rope ladders

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US800934A (en) * 1904-04-25 1905-10-03 Mary J Mcarthur Fire-escape ladder.
GB798371A (en) * 1957-01-16 1958-07-16 Norse Aluminium Products Improvements in ladders
US3085651A (en) * 1960-06-03 1963-04-16 Howard B Rich Inc Step ladder

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US800934A (en) * 1904-04-25 1905-10-03 Mary J Mcarthur Fire-escape ladder.
GB798371A (en) * 1957-01-16 1958-07-16 Norse Aluminium Products Improvements in ladders
US3085651A (en) * 1960-06-03 1963-04-16 Howard B Rich Inc Step ladder

Cited By (27)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3677366A (en) * 1971-07-02 1972-07-18 Emil Loeffel Self-storing fire escape ladder
DE2238419A1 (en) * 1972-08-04 1974-02-14 Edelmann & Ridder Ladder rung
DE2548867A1 (en) * 1975-10-31 1977-05-05 Wilhelm Luckey Coiled emergency fire escape ladder - comprises noncombustible metal side strips and stackable metal rungs
US4177878A (en) * 1978-05-01 1979-12-11 Salvarezza Robert M Rope ladder
US4241809A (en) * 1979-08-13 1980-12-30 Salvarezza Robert M Rope ladder with molded hard elastomer steps and a method for assembly of the same
US4298097A (en) * 1980-03-11 1981-11-03 Eriksson Lars O Escape-ladder
US4442920A (en) * 1982-09-30 1984-04-17 Steelstran Industries, Incorporated Collapsible ladder
EP0145695A3 (en) * 1983-12-14 1985-07-24 André Jansen Emergency ladder
EP0145695A2 (en) * 1983-12-14 1985-06-19 André Jansen Emergency ladder
US4554996A (en) * 1985-04-12 1985-11-26 Salvarezza Robert M Rope ladder with molded hard elastomer steps and replacement steps and collars therefor
US4655321A (en) * 1986-08-29 1987-04-07 Salvarezza Robert M Rope ladder with molded hard elastomer steps and method for assemblying the ladder therefor
US4815561A (en) * 1987-05-22 1989-03-28 Ostrander Gary L Escape device
US4852688A (en) * 1988-06-27 1989-08-01 Strohmeyer Sr Robert W Collapsible ladder assembly
US5605205A (en) * 1994-08-12 1997-02-25 Brk Brands, Inc. Readily deployable portable escape ladder
WO1996005401A1 (en) * 1994-08-12 1996-02-22 Brk Brands, Inc. Readily deployable portable escape ladder
US6279681B1 (en) * 1998-05-11 2001-08-28 X-It Products, Llc Collapsible ladder having highly nesting rungs with integral stand-off projections
US6334510B2 (en) 1998-05-11 2002-01-01 X-It Products, Llc Collapsible ladder having highly nesting rungs with integral stand-off projections
US6460654B2 (en) 1998-05-11 2002-10-08 X-It Products, Llc Collapsible ladder having highly nesting rungs with integral stand-off projections
US6530455B1 (en) 2000-08-11 2003-03-11 Walter Kidde Portable Equipment, Inc. Escape ladder
WO2013165258A1 (en) 2012-05-04 2013-11-07 Northwestcoast As Ships ladder
CN104411579A (en) * 2012-05-04 2015-03-11 西北岸股份公司 Ships ladder
EP2844546A4 (en) * 2012-05-04 2015-12-09 Northwestcoast As Ships ladder
US9611692B1 (en) * 2013-01-25 2017-04-04 Apollomarine Specialties, Inc. Rope ladder rung and method of manufacture
US9333383B1 (en) * 2014-04-17 2016-05-10 Darrell Barton Weighted agility ladder
US20170145747A1 (en) * 2015-08-27 2017-05-25 Robert M. Salvarezza Enhanced strength spreader step for use with rope ladders
US10107034B2 (en) * 2015-08-27 2018-10-23 Robert M. Salvarezza Enhanced strength spreader step for use with rope ladders
US20170072240A1 (en) * 2015-09-16 2017-03-16 Yi Ni Wu Step movement training device

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