Author Topic: Second floor pet emergency fire escape  (Read 959 times)

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Offline Crosscut

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Second floor pet emergency fire escape
« on: June 15, 2021, 01:12:55 PM »
Two dogs, 45 and 95 pounds, and looking for a fast&easy method to lower them from a second floor window to the ground in the event of a house fire. Rather than get a lift harness/vest that is sized for each, and that I'd have to purchase new ones for each new dog or as they grew, looking for something more universal to fit any dog in the 45-150 pound range since we'll almost certainly be getting a new one in the next few years too.

Thinking about using a cargo net to secure and restrain them, and a block and tackle to lower them down.  Not necessarily these, but along these lines anyway:

https://www.amazon.com/SurmountWay-Capacity-1100LBS-Buckles-S-Hooks/dp/B08B3KTKYJ
https://www.amazon.com/XSTRAP-Heavy-Duty-Breaking-Strength-Hoist/dp/B085NKN38W

I could pre-attach eye bolts (to snap the block on) into the top of the window frames on a couple windows now so we could choose the best window to go out based on where the least fire/smoke below was.  We have an escape ladder for us, so the wife could climb down first while I wrap, secure, and lower dog #1 down and she removes the dog from the net at the bottom, then I pull the empty net back up and repeat for dog #2. 

Using some form of net that their legs slip through makes a lot of sense to me, should be easier to control them and keep them from running off if scared/confused while securing them - or easier than a harness with buckles or belt loops anyway.  Train them to walk/sit on the net placed on the floor now, and then just have to lift the sides of the net bringing it up around their legs and up to their chest.  That should make it easier for me to keep them in place using only one hand while I'm securing the net to the block&tackle with the other.  Another advantage is this gear should fit in the decorative barrel where our escape ladder is stored, so it'd all in one place and in the room we'll use it.   Thoughts?  Better way? 

Offline Barr

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Re: Second floor pet emergency fire escape
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2021, 03:59:56 PM »
In reading this I've had 2 ideas come to mind.

Airplane emergency exit style slide



Something along the lines of but in reverse
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Offline Crosscut

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Re: Second floor pet emergency fire escape
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2021, 06:56:22 PM »
In reading this I've had 2 ideas come to mind.

Airplane emergency exit style slide



Something along the lines of but in reverse

I considered some kind of collapsible tube slide, but never heard of or seen anything like that unless it was permanently built. 

On the vid, impressive, I had a pit mix that passed away a few years ago that might have been trainable to hang on while being lowered down - she used to play tug-o-war with a family member's rottweiler and our lab/dane mix (passed now also dammit, smartest dog I ever had) and rarely lost - not by pulling but just by hanging on until the other dog gave up.   Not really an option for my current mutts, lab mix and coon dog mix.

Offline Raptor

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Re: Second floor pet emergency fire escape
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2021, 06:04:32 PM »
A sailor here who has to hoist a 150lb dingy from the water with a manual block and tackle using davits. Down is easy...up is the hard part.

The cargo net is a great idea and should work well. You should make a bridle ahead of time and affix it to the netting. That is as simple as two bowline knots tying the netting together. https://www.netknots.com/download_file/465/0

In this case you have to lower the weight (dog) and not lift him. The 8 to 1 block and tackle not needed and will be very slow to lower and retract for dog #2.  In this case (8:1) for every 10 feet of height you will need to use 80 feet of line. If you are using this speed is of the essence.

The line in the linked block and tackle is also very thin and will cut the ever loving caca out of your hands even if you wear thick leather gloves.

What you want is a single block and block with a becket and line at least 5/16 inch or bigger. That and set it up like in this drawing with a 2 to mechanical advantage. You will use less rope and hence be much faster. Only 20 feet of line for every 10 feet of height.   



You will be lowering the weight as shown. A 150lb weight will exert ~ a 75lb pull using this method.

Obviously these will need to be attached with through bolts sufficient to hold at least 4x the intended weight.
 
These are two examples with safe working loads of 330 lbs and take up to 3/8 inch line.
https://www.amazon.com/Nautos-92314-Classic-Single-sheave-Long-Characteristics-Sailboat/dp/B007ZVHAUU/ref=pd_bxgy_2/141-6302378-6887168?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B007ZVHAUU&pd_rd_r=847f030d-279b-4844-b8aa-acddd68c2533&pd_rd_w=KGeN6&pd_rd_wg=GhYJ8&pf_rd_p=fd3ebcd0-c1a2-44cf-aba2-bbf4810b3732&pf_rd_r=6HH2056YH1K7PE2E6ZFV&psc=1&refRID=6HH2056YH1K7PE2E6ZFV

https://www.amazon.com/Nautos-92315-Classic-SINGLE-sheave-long-characteristics-Sailboat/dp/B007ZVIEH8/ref=sr_1_101?dchild=1&keywords=block+with+becket+5%2F16&qid=1623882762&sr=8-101

Use line (rope) like this:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E99WQFE/ref=?th=1&psc=1


You could also get a double block and the single block with a becket to get a 3:1 advantage which would reduce the load for 150lb weight to 50lbs like this:



The next part will need practice. You tie the rope to a part of the room that can hold the weight and do wear gloves for this, pay out the line in a controlled manner make sure you can snub the line if you start losing control.

One final thought while 2 ways in and 2 ways out is very sensible another possibility is to plan to fight through a fire to get downstairs. While I am sure you have at least a fire extinguisher(s) at home,  an additional large ABC fire extinguisher upstairs (in your bedroom or near the stairs?) could be anonther alternative. 

My $.02


 
« Last Edit: June 16, 2021, 06:41:47 PM by Raptor »
I will never claim to have all the answers. Depending upon the subject; I am also aware that I may not have all the questions much less the answers.

As a result I am always willing to listen to others and work with them to arrive at the right answers to the applicable questions.

Offline Crosscut

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Re: Second floor pet emergency fire escape
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2021, 07:28:01 AM »
A sailor here who has to hoist a 150lb dingy from the water with a manual block and tackle using davits. Down is easy...up is the hard part.

The cargo net is a great idea and should work well. You should make a bridle ahead of time and affix it to the netting. That is as simple as two bowline knots tying the netting together. https://www.netknots.com/download_file/465/0

In this case you have to lower the weight (dog) and not lift him. The 8 to 1 block and tackle not needed and will be very slow to lower and retract for dog #2.  In this case (8:1) for every 10 feet of height you will need to use 80 feet of line. If you are using this speed is of the essence.

The line in the linked block and tackle is also very thin and will cut the ever loving caca out of your hands even if you wear thick leather gloves.

What you want is a single block and block with a becket and line at least 5/16 inch or bigger. That and set it up like in this drawing with a 2 to mechanical advantage. You will use less rope and hence be much faster. Only 20 feet of line for every 10 feet of height.   



You will be lowering the weight as shown. A 150lb weight will exert ~ a 75lb pull using this method.

Obviously these will need to be attached with through bolts sufficient to hold at least 4x the intended weight.
 
These are two examples with safe working loads of 330 lbs and take up to 3/8 inch line.
https://www.amazon.com/Nautos-92314-Classic-Single-sheave-Long-Characteristics-Sailboat/dp/B007ZVHAUU/ref=pd_bxgy_2/141-6302378-6887168?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B007ZVHAUU&pd_rd_r=847f030d-279b-4844-b8aa-acddd68c2533&pd_rd_w=KGeN6&pd_rd_wg=GhYJ8&pf_rd_p=fd3ebcd0-c1a2-44cf-aba2-bbf4810b3732&pf_rd_r=6HH2056YH1K7PE2E6ZFV&psc=1&refRID=6HH2056YH1K7PE2E6ZFV

https://www.amazon.com/Nautos-92315-Classic-SINGLE-sheave-long-characteristics-Sailboat/dp/B007ZVIEH8/ref=sr_1_101?dchild=1&keywords=block+with+becket+5%2F16&qid=1623882762&sr=8-101

Use line (rope) like this:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E99WQFE/ref=?th=1&psc=1


You could also get a double block and the single block with a becket to get a 3:1 advantage which would reduce the load for 150lb weight to 50lbs like this:



The next part will need practice. You tie the rope to a part of the room that can hold the weight and do wear gloves for this, pay out the line in a controlled manner make sure you can snub the line if you start losing control.

One final thought while 2 ways in and 2 ways out is very sensible another possibility is to plan to fight through a fire to get downstairs. While I am sure you have at least a fire extinguisher(s) at home,  an additional large ABC fire extinguisher upstairs (in your bedroom or near the stairs?) could be anonther alternative. 

My $.02


 

Wow, outstanding detail, thanks Raptor!  How sad that a former squid needs help with this, I was strictly a shore sailor and the only ship I 'served' on was the USS NeverSail in bootcamp lol.

Still mentally digesting this, I'm thinking of using a lag screw eyebolt into the window frame header board as the top anchor point.   Inside the room is a very sturdy serving bar (7' long, 400-500 lbs) that could be an additional anchor point.  Still working through the dynamics of getting the netted big dog dangling outside the window with the rope secured/tied off, and then releasing it while it's under tension to lower her down. 

On one hand I'd like to keep the total cost down, say $150 or less, especially since the odds of ever needing to use it are pretty low.  BUT, the decor of the rec room is somewhat nautically themed (tiki bar), so if the solution was both decorative and functional then it might justify spending more money so thinking about this too. 



Decorative blocks and natural/hemp rope already rigged and hung above the escape window wouldn't look out of place at all.

Either way, a very helpful reply, and you've given me a lot to think about.  We do have a 10 lb fire extinguisher that lives behind the bedroom door and a 5 pounder in the kitchen.  One thing I do remember from the Navy was the fire fighting training, and the Mrs and I have mock practiced attacking a fire together using two extinguishers. 

Offline Raptor

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Re: Second floor pet emergency fire escape
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2021, 10:27:33 AM »
Thank you for the compliment...5 decades of sailboat racing has left me with a lot of lessons (as well as opinions and more than a few rope burns) when it comes to line handling.


Quote
Still mentally digesting this, I'm thinking of using a lag screw eyebolt into the window frame header board as the top anchor point.   
I do want to point out something. This attachment point is the single most critical failure point. If this attachment device and the material to which it is attached cannot handle the load and fails this will render the whole arrangement inoperative. You need to give a lot of thought to this and test it afterwards. The good news is that 150 lbs is not a lot of load but you really want a safe working load of at least 300lbs and a breaking load capacity of at least 600 lbs (4x) . The blocks I linked had a breaking load of 2,000lbs.

You may want to consider two lag bolts attached to 2 different members/beams and attach the blocks using both in simple rope(line) bridle. That will give you some redundancy as well as capacity by spreading the load between 2 attachment points

Quote
Inside the room is a very sturdy serving bar (7' long, 400-500 lbs) that could be an additional anchor point. 
In keeping with the nautical theme find a decretive place to mount a cleat like this. The bar would be a good belaying point.

You could also go with something more decretive like a ss samson post.

That or you could simply have a rope bridle that fits around the bar as the anchor point.

Quote
Still working through the dynamics of getting the netted big dog dangling outside the window with the rope secured/tied off, and then releasing it while it's under tension to lower her down.

If the hoist point is outside the window it will draw the load(dog) towards the point as you hoist it. So you would put the load (dog) in the netting and give a good heave ho to lift the load, as the load (dog) is lifted up it will be drawn out the window at the same time. At this point you will miss the 8:1 mechanical advantage but the load should still be manageable with the 2:1 and it only has to be lifted ~ 5 feet at which point you simply lower the load/(dog). That part assuming the dog is cooperative will not hard if the attachment point is outside.

If it is not then you will need to push the load out the window. This is likely a 2 person operation in this latter instance.
I will never claim to have all the answers. Depending upon the subject; I am also aware that I may not have all the questions much less the answers.

As a result I am always willing to listen to others and work with them to arrive at the right answers to the applicable questions.

Offline Crosscut

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Re: Second floor pet emergency fire escape
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2021, 01:17:05 PM »
Thank you for the compliment...5 decades of sailboat racing has left me with a lot of lessons (as well as opinions and more than a few rope burns) when it comes to line handling.


Quote
Still mentally digesting this, I'm thinking of using a lag screw eyebolt into the window frame header board as the top anchor point.   
I do want to point out something. This attachment point is the single most critical failure point. If this attachment device and the material to which it is attached cannot handle the load and fails this will render the whole arrangement inoperative. You need to give a lot of thought to this and test it afterwards. The good news is that 150 lbs is not a lot of load but you really want a safe working load of at least 300lbs and a breaking load capacity of at least 600 lbs (4x) . The blocks I linked had a breaking load of 2,000lbs.

You may want to consider two lag bolts attached to 2 different members/beams and attach the blocks using both in simple rope(line) bridle. That will give you some redundancy as well as capacity by spreading the load between 2 attachment points


Quote
Inside the room is a very sturdy serving bar (7' long, 400-500 lbs) that could be an additional anchor point. 
In keeping with the nautical theme find a decretive place to mount a cleat like this. The bar would be a good belaying point.

You could also go with something more decretive like a ss samson post.

That or you could simply have a rope bridle that fits around the bar as the anchor point.

Quote
Still working through the dynamics of getting the netted big dog dangling outside the window with the rope secured/tied off, and then releasing it while it's under tension to lower her down.

If the hoist point is outside the window it will draw the load(dog) towards the point as you hoist it. So you would put the load (dog) in the netting and give a good heave ho to lift the load, as the load (dog) is lifted up it will be drawn out the window at the same time. At this point you will miss the 8:1 mechanical advantage but the load should still be manageable with the 2:1 and it only has to be lifted ~ 5 feet at which point you simply lower the load/(dog). That part assuming the dog is cooperative will not hard if the attachment point is outside.

If it is not then you will need to push the load out the window. This is likely a 2 person operation in this latter instance.

One good thing is I know the design of the window frame header, it's identical to the ones in the garage below.



A lag screw set near the corner so it goes through the horizontal 2x6 and into the vertical 2X10 above should be pretty strong, but maybe some glue or epoxy to just help make sure it wouldn't pull out.

Two of those SS Samson posts would actually look nice bolted on the corners of the bar top, and I can get underneath to secure them with washers and nuts.  I was looking at a cam cleat, but these seem much more reliable (and decorative).    Tied off on the samson post with just enough slack so when I push the 'load' out the window she'd drop about a foot below the window sill and wouldn't swing back in.  If the rope was secured to the samson post in the right fashion, maybe a full round turn of the rope below the crossbar first before lashing it down(?), it might help as I could just remove the lashings above until it started to slip for a more controlled descent and less friction on my hands.

Thanks again for the help Raptor, I have some homework to do but have a good headstart now.

Offline Raptor

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Re: Second floor pet emergency fire escape
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2021, 05:25:01 PM »
A cam cleat would be faster but the samson post offers more control for paying out line under a heavy load. If you planned on using this a lot I would suggest bolting it to the floor but as a "plan b" the bar will work well.



Something like this combines the cam cleat with a single block and becket.
This is fast and will hold the load but a bit pricey and not exactly pretty.
 




You may also want to reinforce the area at the joist with a simple bracket. That said assuming the bolt is close the joist that should easily support 600 lbs (4x).
« Last Edit: June 17, 2021, 05:34:04 PM by Raptor »
I will never claim to have all the answers. Depending upon the subject; I am also aware that I may not have all the questions much less the answers.

As a result I am always willing to listen to others and work with them to arrive at the right answers to the applicable questions.

Offline Crosscut

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Re: Second floor pet emergency fire escape
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2021, 02:00:06 PM »
Well the Mrs nixed the Samson post idea, it's her room so...  I did add six 3" screws into the window frame over the weekend to ensure the header board wouldn't pull out, it was attached with framing nails only.  Also picked up a 5" eyebolt, rated at 320 lbs, need to get that installed and the rest of the parts on order.

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Re: Second floor pet emergency fire escape
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2021, 01:52:38 PM »
This project took a backseat for awhile, but made some progress this week.

Cargo net (looks like seat belt material and cross stitched), a hopefully sufficient wooden fixed block, pulley, and the lag screw.  Everything except the rope and a cleat to tie it off too.


A friend's wife found the wooden block at a garage sale for $7.  She just bought it and said "Is this kinda what you were looking for?" when she gave it to us.  I said, "No. That's exactly what I was looking for."  Matches my wife's decor perfectly :)   Once everything is acquired think I'll test this with 4 forty pound bags of potting soil, the wooden block isn't just a decorative one, Union Hardware out of Connecticut but can't make out a date if there is one,  but no telling the conditions it was stored under either.

Cargo net came with a storage bag, should be enough room to fit everything including the rope in it, and it fits in the little barrel along with our Kidde escape ladder.


Offline Raptor

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Re: Second floor pet emergency fire escape
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2021, 02:16:36 PM »
Once everything is acquired think I'll test this with 4 forty pound bags of potting soil,

Good deal all around! The test should prove the rig works. Another easy to use weight (after the 1st test with the bags of dirt) is to lower the rig to about 3 or 4 inches off the ground and get an adult who weighs 200 lbs+ to step on the supported portion to see if it supports the weight. 

BTW be sure to attach a lifting line directly to the net. Do not try to use the buckles, just run the line through the net and secure both ends with a bowline knot.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2021, 02:22:17 PM by Raptor »
I will never claim to have all the answers. Depending upon the subject; I am also aware that I may not have all the questions much less the answers.

As a result I am always willing to listen to others and work with them to arrive at the right answers to the applicable questions.

Offline sheddi

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Re: Second floor pet emergency fire escape
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2021, 04:34:00 AM »
That does look good!

If it was me I'd try with one bag of soil first, then add the others :)

 

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