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Top 10 Unusual Fire Escape Systems

Today’s fire alarm systems ensure that we can all evacuate quickly and safely in the event of a fire. However, in days gone by whilst speed was key, safety clearly wasn’t always thought through! Here are the top 10 unusual and often dangerous looking fire safety systems of the past, some of which amazingly are still utilised today!

1. Liverpool

Liverpool Fire Escape StairsThis spiral slide to safety is located outside the Liverpool Maritime Museum. A modern system is now thankfully installed and the slide is no longer in use. It now just provides an interesting insight into the past, when chutes like this were regularly used in the event of an evacuation.


2. Georgia

Georgia fire escape chute

The Georgia Baptist Hospital was equipped with wider chutes that could empty the entire building in just minutes!  The system even accommodated for single mattresses in order to evacuate those who were too ill to leave their hospital beds.

3. Shanghai

shanghai escape chute

This rather unusual indoor chute is located inside the building as opposed to the conventional outdoor installation. Another feature which definitely adds to the cool factor of this escape route is that it folds away when not in use.

4. Nebraska

Nebraska fire escape chuteStrikingly similar to laundry or even rubbish chutes, this escape tunnel in Nebraska was actually intended for human use. Comfort and safety were not a key feature of this unusual escape, but the speed was definitely there!

5. Texas

Texas fire escape chute

This half stairway/half slide chute is situated on the side of a building in Texas. The steepness is an unusual feature of this chute, and creates safety concerns in regards to the speed that you would be travelling once you had reached the bottom!

6. Oregon

Oregon fire escape chute

This half pipe chute provided a quick but not so safe method of escape. Whilst amazing to look at, it is hard to imagine this intimidating slide being used purposefully in the event of a fire.

7. Korea

Korea fire escape chute

In many nurseries across both North and South Korea these fire escape tunnels are currently installed. Usually multi-coloured, the chutes are intended to be fun and child friendly in order to keep things calm at what could be a scary time.


8. Japan

Japan fire escape chute

The use of fire safety measures such as this one is now a distant memory over here in the UK. However, this method of escape is still commonly seen across all areas in Japan.

9. Cheyenne

Cheyenne fire escape chute

This image of a fire escape which was used in Cheyenne shows a young boy sat in the chute who was photographed as part of a fire practice session. Not only does the photograph reflect the size of the chute but also shows that these old practises were fun, even more so a child as you got to go down a cool slide!

10. Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City fire escape chute

This extremely scary looking fire escape chute situated at the Whiteman Air Force Base is one of many that are amazingly still used today. Looking at this, we think that we will stick to the good old fashioned fire alarm system and an exit using the stairs!

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