Fire escape
A fire escape is a special kind of emergency exit
Emergency exit
An emergency exit in a structure is a special exit for emergencies such as a fire: the combined use of regular and special exits allows for faster evacuation, while it also provides an alternative if the route to the regular exit is blocked by fire, etc....

, usually mounted to the outside of a building
In architecture, construction, engineering, real estate development and technology the word building may refer to one of the following:...

 or occasionally inside but separate from the main areas of the building. It provides a method of escape in the event of a fire
Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction products. Slower oxidative processes like rusting or digestion are not included by this definition....

 or other emergency that makes the stairwells
-People:* Scott Kannberg , guitarist of Pavement* A. Edison Stairs , New Brunswick politician* Denis Stairs , engineer, Montreal businessman* Ernest W. Stairs , New Brunswick politician...

 inside a building inaccessible. Fire escapes are most often found on multiple-story residential
A house is a building or structure that has the ability to be occupied for dwelling by human beings or other creatures. The term house includes many kinds of different dwellings ranging from rudimentary huts of nomadic tribes to free standing individual structures...

 buildings, such as apartment buildings. At one time, they were a very important aspect of fire safety
Safety is the state of being "safe" , the condition of being protected against physical, social, spiritual, financial, political, emotional, occupational, psychological, educational or other types or consequences of failure, damage, error, accidents, harm or any other event which could be...

 for all new construction in urban
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

 areas; more recently, however, they have fallen out of common use.

A fire escape consists of a number of horizontal platforms, one at each story of a building, with ladder
A ladder is a vertical or inclined set of rungs or steps. There are two types: rigid ladders that can be leaned against a vertical surface such as a wall, and rope ladders that are hung from the top. The vertical members of a rigid ladder are called stringers or stiles . Rigid ladders are usually...

s or stairs connecting them.