GLASS THE PHENOMENON

Visually light yet structurally strong, the translucent beauty of glass has never been more utilised than it is in the modern world today. It embrace's light but still protects us against the natural world.

From the turn of the century Architects have been instrumental in how we live, forming buildings we now come to know as cities. Because of its cost and durability, glass became an industrial workhorse and impacted on the world for this very reason!

Glass holds lots of values in the 21st century as it meets the demands of mankind. Yet because of its durability it has become over subscribed and when put in an emergency/evacuation situation almost impossible to escape!

FACT:

When commercial glass is free from all its inpurities it can resist impact of of 25,000 pounds making it stronger than most metals! (source:Gizmodo)

A Glass is Born

The very first forms of glass can be traced right back to the stone age peroid, where they were used for weapons and decorative artefacts.This form of glass was known as Obsidian glass and was formed from black volcanic debris. The earliest known man made glass dates back to 3500 BC with discovery's in Mesopatania(Northern Iraq and Syria) 

The use of glass as a building material in the modern world, was first heralded by the building of 'Crystal Palace' and built by Joseph Paxton.Paxton's revolutionary new building inspired the public use of glass as a commercial material for the very first time and would inspire architecture forever more.

Monday 1st of May 1851 'The Crystal Palace'  building was officially opened  by Queen Victoria as the first ever worlds fair and became known as the 'Great Exhibition'.In the first week admission was £1.00 per person eventually being reduced to increase the numbers to five shillings for the next 3 x weeks.This effecitively still only limited entrance to middle class and Aristocratic visitors.Working classes were eventually allowed in to the exhibition on Monday 26th May were prices were reduced to one shilling.Over 6 million admissions were counted on the toll gates.

The building on hyde park, London was limited to just 6 months and although against the wishes of Parliament, 6 x Business consortium made the decision to move the majestic 'Crystal Palace' to it's new home;  Penge Place top of Sydenham hill,London.

While the original cost of Crystal Palace to build was £150,000 (equivalent to £16.5 million today) the move cost £1,300,000 (£133 million today) burdeoning the consortium with a debt they would never repay!

On the evening of 30th November 1936, Sir Henry Buckland was walking his dog when he noticed and raisied the alarm that 'The Crystal Palace' was ablaze.Although 400 firemen and 89 fire engines were on site they were unable to to extinquish the blaze.

About

My name is Christopher B Carr a retired aircraft engineer. Some 40 years ago my wife witnessed an elderly man perish in a Council house fire. Despite heavy objects being thrown at the toughened glazed window, by surrounding neighbours and the man himself, nothing could penetrate and break the sealed toughened glazed window.

The elderly man perished!

 

I have always been mindful of events that unfolded that day and kept a close eye on the fire safety industry as it unfolded into the 21st century.

 

I do not believe anything has changed significantly or adequately in 40 years that addresses the position of entrapment by or BS Toughened glass in an emergency evacuation situation!

 

So we designed SAFE STEP

 

DESIGN & CREATION

It has taken over 8 years to formulate and develop the concept we now recognise as SAFE STEP. Through global research and meticulous testing, we have sourced the best known materials, in producing a product that is essential to any building that has been enclosed by toughened BS glass.Any building in the world which has glazed windows made of 'toughened glass' which could lead to entrapment in an emergency situation!

SAFE STEP is proud to introduce the revolutionary POWER PUNCH the tungsten carbide tipped glass enforcer that can smash through any toughened BS glazed unit. The tungsten carbide tip is hardened to an incredible 1600hv, making POWER PUNCH almost indestructible!

SAFE STEP also comes complete with a quick release lightweight retractable escape ladder.By incorporating the emergency escape ladder into the SAFE STEP model, we know we have designed a piece of fire safety equipment that is essential to any building enclosed by BS Toughened glass.

SAFE STEP the easy to use, compact, emergency fire apparatus that 'packs a punch', when it matters. When every second counts, it could be the difference between life or death!

GRENFELL FIRE DISASTER

14th June 2017 the day 72 innocent people lost their lives. As with most people around the world, we watched in horror as the story unfolded. on national television. Like most of us, the obvious question was 'how has this tragedy happened in the modern western world, with the technologies we have at our fingertips"?

It was a case of 'deja vu' and very similar to a story  i had gone through 40 years previous!

So it became more than a coincidence that 'here i was with an invention for fire safety and emergency evecuation', witnessing one of the biggest fire tragedies in my lifetime! I had no choice but to look over this case and investigate any relevence it might have?

Officially the time 'Grenfell Fire started has been declared at 00:55am morning of 14th June 2017.

At about 02:00, in flat 113 on the opposite corner of the tower from where the fire started, Oluwaseun Talabi was woken by the sound of shouting.

OLUWASEUM TALABI: 'OLU' to his friends, lived with his girlfriend ROSEMARY OYEWOLE and their daughter (ZAINAB DEEN) on the 14th floor.Like everyone else that night they phoned emergency services and were they were told like everyone else 'STAY PUT' and put wet towels at the base of your main door,fire crew will be with you shortly!

Before long it was clear that the fire was growing and help had not arrived? 'Olu' emptied the 'airing cupboard of all its content's and started tying all the blankets/sheets/pillow case together.Before long he secured the makeshift rope ladder to the bedroom window and dropped it  down. He turned to his girlfriend and asked her to tie their daughter ' ZAINAB DEEN ' to his back?

 

LATEST HOME OFFICE STATISTICS REVEAL 2020/21

 

The latest fire statistics from April 2020 - MARCH 2021, reveal that the uk fire service attended  518,263 incidents last year. Cooking appliances were by far the biggest form of ignition(46%)of all fires attended by the fire service. The results off this show, there were  240  fatalaties. which gives us an overall 4.2 % fire related fatalities for every million population in England, with a resulted higher percentage rate amongst older people.(source; UK Home Office)

On The Road

When i started out with my SAFE STEP idea, i was not sure of the world i was stepping into? It's all very well talking the talk, but I had to to do some serious research and get to know the industry i was questioning? So over the next 12 months i enrolled onto all the big FIRE Expo shows within the UK: LONDON:BIRMINGHAM: MANCHESTER and finally GLASGOW.

Thought it would be a good idea to bring SAFE STEP with me to gauge the industrys reaction and generally gauge feedback! The response was very positive and if i heard 'Dragons Den' once well..... But in general it was very reassuring to hear the positive reaction to my little idea with one trader explaining " you can never do enough for fire prevention or safety"

Conclusion:

After attending all the big shows on UK soil and from a layperson's perspective, the industry seems totally transfixed on lazer beam technology that picks up micro dust particles and sends alarms off?

I'm afraid they have raced into the 21st century and overlooked a problem that was created on the back of an oil embargo?  

 

 

New York head of operations 9/11 Sal Cassino (Birmingham 2019)

Why is Glass So Tough?

In 1973 as Britain began to freeze under restrictions placed by an Arab oil embargo, Parliament moved swiftly to address the need for fuel efficiency. As part of the new Regulatory Building Regulations, Britain would embrace a new dawn of energy efficiency and ways of preserving heat, double glazing.

 

The 70's would witness a boom in UPVC Aluminium double glazed windows being introduced as part of the energy saving initiative. Aluminium/Wooden framed windows, were being fitted throughout the land, as the country sought to keep out the cold and keep heat in.

 

Both Wood and Aluminium  would eventually disappear being replaced by the cheaper more durable plastic along with a more resilient toughened glass. Time would soon reveal that these energy saving initiatives would not only be keeping heat in, but in some instances compromise personal safety?

 

Recent research reveals that the proportions of properties within the Uk with some levels of double glazing to be estimated at 93%.(source George Barndaze)

 

 

Even today in Modern Britain, house's such as this can be found with no openers?

How Tough is Modern BS Glass?

The earliest forms of double glazing glass proved to be very brittle and had little or no resistant to human impact. In 1984 casulties of glass accidents through out the UK was responsible for 16,000 incidents including deep lacerations of tendons, severed nerves and torn muscles. (source: ncbi.nih.gov)

 

A new tougher more robust glass was introduced 'Safety Glass' and endorsed under UK Building Regulations in areas where there is a high risk of collision , such as a person running or colliding with a glazed door/window .These would later be identified under BS6206 - BSEN12600 as critical locations.

 

UK Building Regulations specifies:(Part 4) ie: the following locations should be regarded as critical: (1)Between finished floor level and 800mm above it (2) Between finished floor level and 1500mm above if in doors or side panels close to either edge.

 

Furthermore in PAS24:2012 Published by the British Standards Institute which provides a method for impact testing and assessing the enhanced security performance requirement of external windows and door sets in the Uk.

Class A : 1200mm drop height

Class B : 450mm drop height

Class C:  190mm drop height

 

Commercial buildings would come under the provision of The Regulatory Reform (fire Safety) Order 2015

Where it would include proviso's such as: (i) Every Business  / Employer must assess the fire risk in their work place (ii) Check there is safe means for leaving the building.

We Must take Responsibility

SEPTEMBER 2016

Alarming new figures reveal that 10,000 firefighter jobs have been lost in the past six years, plunging the fire and rescue service into its worst state of crisis in decades. In a parliamentary briefing released to all MPs, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) warns that another round of central government funding cuts will take an already struggling fire service to breaking point. Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “Thanks to the government, there are now ten thousand fewer firefighters across the UK to save people’s lives at fires, floods, car crashes, building collapses, lift rescues, road traffic accidents and industrial disasters. The public deserve a first rate emergency service, not one that has been unrelentingly slashed to the bone.

 

As a result 10,000 frontline firefighter jobs have been cut along with 12 Fire Stations, 27 fire engines plus appliances and equipment throughout Britain. The cutbacks has also witnessed a delay in time to response, with some areas of the UK recording an increase from  9 minutes to 12 ! (source: Fire Brigade Union)

 

"I Cannot emphasise enough how seconds count when fire fighting, a few seconds can be the difference between life and death."

(source: Andrew Scattergood Chair of Fire Brigade Union, Independant)

 

The Future

SAFE STEP has now received full patent rights and is fully protected by the companies Intellectual attorney.

 

We are totally convinced that SAFE STEP will enhance and revolutionise the Fire Safety industry around the world, saving lives, making the environment you find yourself in, be it: Home, Workplace, Leisure facility, a safer place to be in!

 

SAFE STEP the biggest breakthrough in Fire - Emergency - Evacuation for over a 100 years.

SAFE STEP @ The House Of Lords receiving SGUK innovation award January 2019

SAFE STEP nominated for innovation excellence @ IOM newspapers November 2019

The Last Word

Glass in the industrial world is simply something we cannot live without.With so many factors and risks involved, it is paramount we identify all risks and visualise each consequence and try to predict each outcome. It is essential we take responsibility for ourselves!

 

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Next time you happen to travel on any form of UK public transport, please just take a minute to look over the emergency procedure, within the carriage and you should immediately be aware of signage to all exit points and a flagged up area highlighting a piece of apparatus that will smash through BS toughened safety glass . This is legislation on all UK public transport!

 

UK GOV Public transport has rightly flagged up and identified toughened BS glass as a potential obstacle within an emergency escape scenario and correctly legislated for it.

 

Two areas of our lives where we spend most of our day, our workplace and our home surprisingly does not?

Technical Data

Assembled ready to use

POWER PUNCH the revolutionary glass enforcer

Designed for quick and easy deployment

100% tangle free design escape ladder

Incorporating non-slip rungs

Grapple hooks designed to fit any UK/European standard window 

Little storage space required also comes with a wall mounted facility

Lifetime limited guaranteed

 

 

Small Compact Carry Case: 45.72cm x 20.32cm x 20.32cm

Overall Weight: 3.5 kilo's (7.16lbs)

Rungs: wth of each rung 45.72cm

Escape Ladder Maximum load weight: 350kgs ( 39 stone)

Suitable for 2-5 storey buildings: 4.3 m ,7.0m , 13.7m 

Power Punch: The glass enforcer guaranteed to smash any BS Glass 

 

For more information regarding SAFE STEP

For all companies Intellectual Property advice: www.AppleyardLees.Com

For all companies Legal Advice: www.Unity Legal .Com

For all companies sales: www.safestepdesign.co.uk