This invention relates to fire escapes and has particular reference to a safety or life saving fire escape apparatus, although it is not thus limited.
One of the main objects of this invention, is to greatly improve the following praiseworthy although not completely satisfactory practice, such as the accidental occurrence of fire in a dwelling or building in which residents, occupants or individuals have been prevented from escaping by the regularly available means, with the result that only such outlets as windows have been available for exit. It has been the practice for firemen or rescue parties to position their ladders near such windows and rescue the individuals, frequently in an injured or partly suffocated condition, by carrying such occupants down personally and singly along the ladders, as on the backs of the firemen, and since this procedure has involved very considerable periods of time, and exhaustion to the firemen, who also had to ascend, perhaps not very quickly after each rescue.
According to the method of this invention, the existing ladders and fire personnel are still used, but another of the instant objects is to provide an apparatus with which a fireman, with his ladder at the window, may place an individual within safety means, and lower said means automatically, as quickly as desired, to the ground, where another person or fireman may extricate the lowered individual, and allow the safety means to again ascend to the person at the upper windows, so that the practice may be repeated.
The essential features of this invention are disclosed in the form of a safety cage, basket or member; a cable or hoisting and lowering line member therefor; a reel on which the cable winds and unwinds, and control means for said members, and utilizing the weight of the basket and load therein for lowering the complete means. The control means include a spring brake for the reel and its cable, and therefore the fireman at the window may regulate the movement of the carrying means. Since the reel and associated control means may be hooked onto, or releasably attached to any step on a ladder, while the latter may be disposed at any angle, such as nearly perpendicutlar to the ground, as has heretofore been the case, the utility of my arrangement becomes evident, it being also understood that, as from a fire truck, the ladder, or as an extension ladder, may be raised to any height within its structural limits.
Another object of this invention, is that the basket is.foldable or capable of being taken apart, to some extent, and conveniently placed on the fire truck or conveyance. Although the particular support for the safety basket at present disclosed is illustrated in the form of a conventional ladder of fire apparatus, any other ladder may be used. This invention is suitable for use on any section of a ladder, an adjustable basket carrying bar being provided, and instead of being supported on a ladder step, this invention may be attached or hooked onto any other support, and is suitable for use in any form of building, industrial or commercial, as well as in a dwelling, or the like.
Another object of this invention, is the collapsible means of the cage or basket, whereby the upper and lower ring member and their connecting rods are adapted to be collapsible into a flat folded manner, due to their looped and hook-like connections.
Other features of this invention will appear in the following specification, accompanied by the annexed drawing, in whichFigure 1 is a front diagrammatic elevational view of my safety fire escape basket in its operative position on a portion of an ordinary fire apparatus ladder.
Figure 2 is a partial diagrammatic side view of the structure of Figure 1, which may or may not be used with an extension ladder shown therewith in dot-dash lines.
Figure 3 is section on the line 3-3, Figure 1.
Figure 4 is a top plan view of part of the structure of Figure 1.
Figure 5 is an. enlarged detail view on the line 5-5, Figure 1. in which the ladder and netting has been omitted, the netting being insertable and removable, whenever desired.
Figure 6 is a detail view of a portion of the showing of Figure 5.
Figure 7 is a detail view in which other enlarged elements are illustrated.
Figure 8 is an enlarged top plan view of an adjustable carrier to which the basket is attached.
Figure 9 illustrates the escape basket in its collapsible and folded position.
The basket support shown in the drawing represents a bottom or lowermost section of a fire escape ladder, other sections, narrower than the one shown, being also adapted to be used, and on a step or rung 10 of said section are hooked two attaching members 1I, 12, in the lower ring ends of which a shaft 13, of winding means which includes, a reel 14, is journalled, said shaft having therein annular grooves 15 for the rings of said hooks.
The basket illustrated is of metal rod construction, including a top ring member 16 and, on the reel 14, is a cable or rope 17, having at its lower end a hook 18. The hook 18 cooperates with a basket carrier having on a triangle 19 a ring 20 for the hook 18, and extending from a bar of the triangle are four legs, three of which numbered 21, are alike, and a fourth leg 22 having a hinge 23 therein.
The legs 21 of the triangle 19, at their lower hooked ends, are resilient, and the hooks of these legs, as well as an end hook on the leg 22, embrace the ring S1. To remove the carrier, the assembly which includes the triangle 19 is first pressed lightly downwardly, the leg 22 is unhooked, and turned into the position shown in Figure 4. One of the legs 22 is then also unhooked, at its resilient end, whereupon the other two hooked legs 22 are easily removed. When the leg 22 is in the aforesaid upturned position, a doorway into and from the basket is formed.
A ring member 24 at the bottom of the basket is similar to the member 16, and with these rings, rods 25, for example, in the present case twelve in number, cooperate vertically to form the side walls of the basket, said rods at their upper ends 26 being formed with inturned hooks to permanently grip the member 16.
The manner in which the rods 25 grip the member 24 is such that, in each case, a loop 27 (Figure 6) is formed, the end 28 of the rod being again turned up so as to terminate against the body portion of the rod.
A bottom is formed in the basket by hooked metal rods, it being seen in Figure 5, that two medial rods 29, each alike, have at their upper ends hooks 30, and at their lower ends hooks 31, which enter and embrace the loops 27.
The two next bottom rods 32, 33 are similar to the rods 29, only shorter, and it is seen that the rods 34, 35 are shortest. The manner of assembling the bottom rods as 29 is similar, in each case, and the hooked ends are turned permanently into place in the positions shown.
Since the loops 27 are similar, on each rod, all around the bottom, these loops form in effect a portion of reduced diameter, which is convenient in any case where the lower end of the basket might tend to come into contact with or strike against a rung, such as 36.
The safety basket is lined or provided on the inside with netting 37, of the life net type. This netting may be also placed over the bottom members, if so desired. One manner in which a portion of the netting 37 may be attached to the basket wall is illustrated in Figure 6, these being some strand portions 38 outside of the rods 25.
A seat 40, which may be of the Hassock type, shown in dot-and-dash lines, may also be provided.
Metallically attached to two rods 25 of the basket (Figure 8) is a tube or sleeve member 41, in which is centrally fastened a draw spring 42, the ends of which are fast or secured with the ends of two sections 43 of a shaft. The shaft is thus, for travel of the basket, fixed thereto, and on the ends of the shaft are two slide shoes, each alike, and each including a body part 44, a side part, which may be split, and, in the present case, an inturned terminal 45. The shoes 44 travel freely on the sides 46 of the ladder, and for this purpose the tube 41 has therein pins 47, which cooperate with apertures 48 in the shaft 43. The shaft is therefore ordinarily fixed, as to length, but is also adjustable for length at the tube 41, since the spring tends to draw in the segments 43, and the ladder shown is a relatively wide one.
The reel 14 turns with its shaft 13, but has longitudinal movement thereon, there being longitudinal grooves in said shaft, as shown in Figure 1, which cooperate with pins, not shown, on the reel, so that as said reel turns, the cable 17 may always remain central, even although winding on or from an end, parts of the reel.
On the shaft 13 (Figure 3) is a gear 51 shown diagrammatically, which meshes with a like gear on a stub shaft, the latter as well as the shaft 13, being journalled in a bearing 52, and on the stub shaft is a crank handle 53.
A ratchet wheel 54 having on the bearing 52, a throw pawl, as shown, is also fast on the stub shaft, and when the pawl is thrown to the disengaged position, the reel 14 and its shaft are free to move, as for lowering the basket, by its own weight, or for returning the basket, which may be done by a torsion spring, not at present illustrated, or by the handle 53. Fast also with the stub shaft is a drum 55 which is engaged by a spring brake band 56. A hand lever 57 cooperates with the band 56, and therefore, the basket movement is completely controllable.
It is to be understood that other means than shown may be used to improve this invention, such as the basket rods, or parts that be hooked or unhooked, or locked and unlocked, but the rods in their secured looped position form a durable and firm structural basket device.
Variations may be resorted to within the spirit of this invention, and portions of the improvement may be used without others, providing same comes within the scope of the appended claims.
Having thus described my invention what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States of America, is as follows: 1. In a safety apparatus of the character described, the combination of, a safety cage-like basket, having top and bottom ring members connected by vertically spaced rods forming loop and hook portions around and onto said ring members, said vertical rods forming the side wall portion of said basket or cage, said bottom ring member having spaced rods forming the floor portion therewith, the top ring member and inner wall portion of said basket or cage, adaptable to have a suitable netting affixed thereto, adjustable tube and shaft members secured to a pair of said vertical rods, the ends thereof provided with slide shoes adapted to fit onto the side frame members of a ladder, hoisting and lowering means provided upon the upper portion of said ladder connecting to said top ring member of said basket or cage, whereby said basket or cage may carry victims downwardly from the windows or roof of a burning building, said basket or cage adaptable to be collapsible when not in use.
2. In a safety apparatus of the character described, including a cage-like basket having top and bottom ring members connected by vertically spaced rods having loop and hook portions around and onto said ring members, said vertical rods forming the side wall portion of said cagelike basket, said bottom ring member having spaced rods forming the floor portion therewith, the top ring member and inner wall portion of said cage-like basket adaptable to have secured thereto a suitable netting, a seat provided within said cage-like basket and netting, hoisting and lowering means provided upon the upper portion of a ladder, said cage-like basket provided with means to slide onto the side frame members of said ladder, whereby said hoisting and lowering means when connected to the top ring member of said cage-like basket, may carry distress victims of a burning building to safety, said basket or cage and affixed netting adaptable to be collapsible when not in use.
3. In a safety apparatus of the character described, including a safety cage-like basket having spaced vertical rods forming the side wall portion thereof, said rods secured to top and bottom ring members in a loop or hook manner, said bottom ring member having spaced rods forming the floor portion therewith, said top ring forming the open portion of said cage-like basket, a triangle member adapted to be secured onto said top ring member, said cage-like basket and said triangle member being connected to any suitable hoisting and lowering means, whereby said cage-like basket may carry distress victims from the upper portions of a burning building.
4. In a safety apparatus of the character described, the combination as defined in claim 3, said hoisting and lowering means, having, for example, a ratchet wheel control and a crank handle, a cable extending from said reel to one of the apexed portions of said triangle member, whereby said crank handle may operate said reel for the hoisting and lowering of said cage-like basket.