NFPA Fact Sheets
Question: Should my building have any type of exterior escape device?
Items such as escape chutes and controlled descent devices
are permitted by the Life Safety Code to provide escape routes in special
structures, such as some towers and special manufacturing environments. They are
not permitted, nor recommended by U.S.-based codes for commercial and public
buildings. Such devices do not come close to the level of protection provided by
the other code-mandated features.
This is the official NFPA's statement on escape
device, and I agree with it, but...
Does the NFPA know about the 1973-1975 ZEC-ME evacuation technology when an
American citizen ask the NFPA an opinion about "escape Chute" in C 2002?
say that "Such devices do not come close to the level of protection provided by
the other code-mandated features."
The ZEC-ME was designed to work in strict conformity with the NFPA 101, Life
Safety Code standard.
Fact strangely ignored for 25 years by specialists, having the ethic duty to
assess any new available life saving technologies.
During the XX century hardly 10 escape chute techniques hare present, the ZEC-ME
is obviously new and different of any previous arts.
The raison of stubborn and prejudicial rejections of the many petitions directed
to the NFPA 101 life safety code's commissions regarding a scientific evaluation
of new system in the period 1977-1980 remain to be explained.
Does recognized competence exclude potential
involvement of conflict of interests?
No matter how excellent could be NFPA's codes, the NFPA remains an industry
sponsored non-profit association founded on the belief that market competing
forces will guarantee the impartiality.
The ZEC evacuation technology case will remains a showcase to question in the
USA and worldwide such potential guarantees of impartiality.
the situation of the competing market force in presence during the late 70's
a.- ATO later renamed Figgie International was struggling to control US safety
industries incidentally related with the ZEC's market fields.
b.. A in deep research effectuated at the time shows that keys NFPA's
commissions are supervised by peoples related with the ATO Group.
c. The NY Local Law# 5 battle is raging and ATO's share in the issues are
d. The escape chute related US industry was insignificant, technically unfitted
for high-rise evacuation and so not represented.
d. 25 years ago the foreign members of the NFPA are essentially local sale
people of the US industry.
Safety industry is practically inexistent excepted in the few industrial
countries. The excellent codes of the NFPA have for possible effect as the Microsoft
OS "open" code standard to lead to a de facto "influence" to the market
in the USA and Worldwide. Anywhere and in anytime if a single guy control 80% of
the business, don't expect but the 5000 years old power rule: kill the competion.
High-rise evacuation market development will be delayed for a quarter of century
leading to Sep.11 WTC evacuation catastrophe.
e.- High-rise building technical impossibility of evacuation was the only reason
to expect billions dollars selling extra protection not required in other class
of buildings that can be evacuated, arguing human safety obligation.
Those exposed circumstances can help to understand that the NFPA at the time and
later for years never considered to assess a new technology that make high-rise
building evacuation technically possible.
To oppose sprinkler fire defense to evacuation can be only be motivated by
The fact that tall towers evacuation as the WTC emergency could occur because
sprinkler protection only could be efficient in normal fire is know and
considered by the insurance risk expert worldwide since 25 years.
Tall buildings are generally safer in industrial countries regarding normal fire
danger that average home dwelling.
Terrorism and abnormal circumstances are well know dangers that can make
infernos and kill thousands. 25 years ago, the problem was yet known and
The NFPA finally sent me in June 2002 a FORM FOR PROPOSALS ON NFPA TECHNICAL
Can we trust the hold time expectation of the free world's entrepreneurs in the
fairness of guarantees of completive market forces, when a single company can
take the control of most an industrial specialized field in only few years?
Public safety Prescriptive Technical Code is a scientific matter for which the
Universities in America and Worldwide are in position to offer a greater degree
of impartiality that Industry sponsored associations or Governments.
Business and politic have only duty to business and politic particular
interests. Science is the only thing that human can freely share for mutual
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