I haven't posted in a while. University has destroyed any time I have to spend blogging. Anyway, new post.
I live in an apartment and my fire alarm always goes off. It's always a false alarm but the fire stairs are always accessible. The question however, is why stairs? Thinking about it, stairs are not the most efficient nor effective way of escaping any building that could be on fire. Think about handicapped people, either on crutches or wheelchairs. Stairs would means that they are forever trapped in the burning building, when the lifts are not accessible to be used in the case of a fire.
A much better design would perhaps be ramps. You can run down them faster and if you do trip, you won't have to worry about cracking your skull open on the edge of a step. It also makes escaping a building easier for everyone. If the building is on fire, you won't be running up into the building so ramps are a good idea. Of course, things such as gradient would have to be taken into account so you're not descending like absailing down a cliff face.
I propose a safety change to all building complexes. Stairs are not the best way to escape out of a building in case of a fire and when the lifts can not be used.
I guess asking for a slide is going too far isn't it?