Each year, an estimated 15,500 high-rise structure fires cause 60 civilian deaths, 930 injuries, and $252 million in property loss (NFINFIRS, 2002).
The reason why high rise fire become a big challenge to fire departments is high-rise buildings can hold thousands of people well above the reach of fire department aerial devices, once the fire is above the operational reach of aerial ladder or elevating platforms the chance of rescuing victims is near zero.
There are two main risks. First is the lead time. The level where the fire occurs has the greatest impact on lead time, especially when elevators are not available. On average, it took 28 minutes and 52 seconds to reach the top floor of a 48story building. This does not include time needed to connect to the standpipe, place SCBA in service and advance on the fire. Second is the safety of firefighters. The risk to firefighters increase in proportion to the height of the building and the height above grade level. Once the fighters are operating above the reach of aerial devices, the only viable means of egress is the interior stairs. Therefore, the heart attack from the stressful environment and heavy gear become the primary cause of death among firefighters. In addition, the mobility inside the building or stairways can be different too.
My research is looking at assistant equipment with new technology applying carrying capacity and personal mobility to achieve an effective fire fighting in the future 2030. The aim is to be a fusion of both aesthetics and engineering with the emphasis leading towards design. The result to this project will be a concept exoskeleton frame that may not go into mass production today, but it will be an innovation high-rise firefighting future perspective. This project is aim to design an assistant firefighting equipment not a robot. The biomechanical exoskeleton is developing in today’s world. In the near future between now and 2030, the advance in the technologies will let the design represent another possibility for the high-rise firefighting.