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Mailonline: Engineer claims his revolutionary 'Folded Slide' can rescue four people every five seconds from a burning high-rise building& it 'could have saved more Grenfell Tower residents'

Fan Shizhong, 26, said his fire rescue slide could speed up rescue process

The vehicle is said to be able to free four people every five seconds from a fire

Mr Fan is confident that his design could help tall buildings like Grenfell Tower

However, mechanical experts said the concept could be hard to implement

An engineer who has designed an innovative fire rescue slide said his vehicle could help save more people in a high-rise fire like the one that struck the Grenfell Tower.

Fan Shizhong's Life Slide could reach up to 80 metres (262 feet) - 13 metres (42 feet) taller than the Grenfell Tower - and rescue four people every five seconds, said the Chinese engineer.

Mr Fan's design has received many international awards, including the Red Dot Design Award, Germany's iF Design Award and America's Core 77 Design Award.


Life Slide, designed by Fan Shizhong, could carry four people at the same time during a fire


The fire rescue design is a multi-functional slide that could reach up to 80 metres (262 ft)

Mr Fan, 26, told MailOnline that he designed the Life Slide after having seen many large-scale fire incidents in China.

The fire rescue design has three sections of slides which are connected to each other to form a giant slide.

Between each two slides, there is a platform to allow firefighters to stand&assist people to escape.

Ventilation devices are installed at both sides of the slide to help extract fumes&smoke emitted by the fire.

Mr Fan mentioned the huge fire in 2010 that ripped through a 28-storey apartment building in Shanghai leaving 58 people dead; as well as the shocking explosions in a Tianjin warehouse in 2015, which killed 158 people.

'I wanted to design an effective&safe rescue device so more people could be saved from similar disasters,' he said.

The young engineer explained that there were three methods to save people from a burning block: by using aerial ladders, helicopters&firefighters.

But these methods were time-consuming&not efficient enough.

In comparison, Life Slide could carry a maximum of four people at the same time with a buffer area to allow firefighters to stand on&assist with the rescue operation.

'Life is short& time goes by fast. There could be people losing their lives in the fire every second,' he said.

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Mr Fan (left) said he was confident his Life Slide could have helped more residents escape from Grenfell Tower (right), an apartment building that stands 220 feet in central London


The Grenfell Tower fire took place on June 14 and claimed the lives of at least 80 people

According to Mr Fan, it would take five seconds for one person to escape from the top of the slide to the ground;& if people line up, four people could be saved every five seconds.

'Insulated aerospace material are used along the slide as coating to help resist high temperature from large-scale fire accidents,' he explained.

Mr Fan was confident that his design could have helped more residents to survive the Grenfell Tower fire, which claimed the lives of at least 80 people on June 14.

The engineer said with the help of the vehicle, trapped residents could be moved to safety from windows as high as 40 metres (131 feet).

What's more? Mr Fan said his current model could be extended & it could reach 80 metres (262 feet) without toppling.

This means that once his upgraded version is realised, the Life Slide could save people living on the 32nd floor during emergencies.

Mr Fan started his project in June, 2014, while studying his Masters degree in the Industrial Engineering Design in Hunan University, China.

This year, Mr Fan's Life Slide was selected as the student winner of the Transportation Award by Core 77 Design Awards, an international award for industrial designers.

Commenting on Life Slide, Norio Fujikawa, one of the jury for Core 77 awards, said it was a 'nice'& 'clever' idea.

While Ken Mak, another judge of the award, thought the execution of the design was 'fantastic'.

The Germany-based iF Design Award praised Life Slide to be 'a strong concept with available technology'.

After giving Mr Fan an award under rescue equipment last year, the iF jury said: 'The slide method is quicker& safer than the fireman's lift on a ladder. '


Mr Fan said when fully extended, the Life Slide could reach as high as 80 metres (262 feet)


Although Mr Fan's design has won the hearts of design awards, mechanical engineering experts said the concept of the vehicle could be hard to implement.

Kam Yim Sze, a professor specialised in computational mechanics from the University of Hong Kong, said it was hard to say whether or not Life Slide could be used in the Grenfell Tower fire.

Professor Sze told MailOnline that based on the simplified mechanical analysis, he had concerns about the design.

'The worrying question is whether or not elder people&young children would get injured at the landing of the slide.'

Because each slide is about 26 metres (85 feet) long, the less able groups might not be able to cope with the high landing speed, according to Professor Sze.

He also wondered if the design had taken other elements into consideration, such as wind loading&dynamic stability.

'In this case, I see that the simulation based on the adopted beam approximation is, to some extent, over-simplified,' he said.

Life Slide is still a concept. Mr Fan is seeking manufacturing companies to invest in his design.

By Tiffany Lo For Mailonline Published: 14:54 BST, 10 July 2017

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