A backpack could help you survive a high rise fire

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This Backpack Could Help You Survive A High Rise Fire

By PIX11

NEW YORK — Trapped by hot smoke in the stairwell of his Hell's Kitchen high-rise, 27-year-old Daniel McLung died trying to escape a fire in his apartment building last January. But McLung's death was not an isolated incident.

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that 60 people die in high-rise fires each year. Another thousand people are seriously injured.

Which is why Ken Frydman and the team at SkySaver created a personal life saving back pack for multi-story rescues and evacuations.

"It's been tested in every possible situation: heat, cold, pressure," said Frydman.

Working with retired FDNY chiefs and certified by several firefighting organizations, SkySaver is an automated controlled descent device that can be used for rescues up to 25 stories.

Whether a person is 60 pounds or 300, the maximum weight load, the descent is always at the same speed: 3 to 6 feet per second.

Laura Cucci was skeptical after watching the companies promotional video.

"I guess there's a good idea behind it, but I don't see it being useful or catching on personally. I would go down the stairs," said Cucci.

But Mahendra Ghedia, who works on the 11th floor of his company's building near Wall Street, says he likes the idea because he knows how crowded the stairways get, even during routine fire drills.

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A backpack could help you survive a high rise fire
Spain's Manuel Foix Robert (L) and Victoria Gomez Gamez pose with their invention, a protective case made with tissue that can be used for food and plants, during the opening day of the 40th International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva, on April 18, 2012. More than 789 exhibitors from 46 countries are present at one of the world's largest exhibition of the devoted to innovation from April 18th to 22th in Geneva. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Germany's Ulli Boehme poses with his invention, the 'Ball Rider' a new sport and leisure vehicle equipped with large balls as wheels, during the opening day of the 40th International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva, on April 18, 2012. More than 789 exhibitors from 46 countries are present at one of the world's largest exhibition of the devoted to innovation from April 18th to 22th in Geneva. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
South Korean Lee Beom Seok poses with his invention, a multifonction portable tool for clothing against bacteria, odor, hydratation and can also work as air purifier during the opening day of the 40th International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva, April 18, 2012. The More than 789 exhibitors from 46 countries are present at one of the world's largest exhibition of the devoted to innovation from April 18th to 22th in Geneva. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
People play in a 'Football Box', an invention for children which allows them to play in a miniature-sized football arena and was invented by Venezuelan Jose Pires Tavares, during the opening day of the 40th International Exhibition of Inventions, in Geneva, on April 18, 2012. The More than 789 exhibitors from 46 countries are present at one of the world's largest exhibition of the devoted to innovation from April 18th to 22th in Geneva. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Taiwan's Yong-Fu Chang presents his invention, two teddy bears connected by Wi-Fi via the Internet equipped with microphones and speakers, during the opening day of the 40th International Exhibition of Inventions, in Geneva, on April 18, 2012. More than 789 exhibitors from 46 countries are present at one of the world's largest exhibition of the devoted to innovation from April 18th to 22th in Geneva. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Italy's Marco Pagnini presents his invention, a suspender for carrying an umbrella without using hands during opening day of the 40th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, on April 18, 2011. More than 789 exhibitors from 46 countries are present at one of the World's largest exhibition devoted to innovation from April 18th to 22th in Geneva. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Andre Piatetsky form the US presents his invention, a treatment hairbrush fitted with a liquid-reservoir that disperse treatment solution over the user's scalp during hair brushing at the opening day of the 40th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, on April 18, 2011. More than 789 exhibitors from 46 countries are present at one of the World's largest exhibition devoted to innovation from April 18th to 22th in Geneva. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
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Taiwan's Juang Ying-Shen poses with her invention, high heels with interchangeable components, during the opening day of the 39th International Exhibition of Inventions, on April 6, 2010 in Geneva. More than 765 exhibitors from 45 countries are present at one of the World's largest exhibition devoted to innovation from April 6th to 10th in Geneva. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
France's Jean-Marc Batard pose with his children next to his invention, a pyramidal water-saving garden which allows elderly people to garden, during the opening day of the 39th International Exhibition of Inventions, on April 6, 2010 in Geneva. More than 765 exhibitors from 45 countries are present at one of the World's largest exhibition devoted to innovation from April 6 to April 10, in Geneva. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
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Southern Taiwan University's Tang Jing-Jou poses with his invention, a billards table with trajectory recording capabilities during the opening day of the 39th International Exhibition of Inventions, on April 6, 2010 in Geneva. The billard table is designed to have sensors and LED indicators under its surface used to record the trajectory of the ball and show the strength in every shot. More than 765 exhibitors from 45 countries are present at one of the World's largest exhibition devoted to innovation from April 6 to 10 in Geneva. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Frenchman Dimitri Gauer poses with his invention, the 'crustacean peeler', during the opening day of the 36th International Exhibition of Inventions, on April 1, 2009 in Geneva. The device peels sea food, facilitating their ingestion for diners. More than 710 exhibitors from 45 countries are present at the exhibition, one of the World's largest devoted to innovation. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON - AUGUST 14: In this photo illustration a moustach guard is displayed at the British Library on August 14, 2008 in London, England. Over 50 ingenious inventions and gadgets have gone on display at the British Library. (Photo illustration by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
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"It can take more than 15 minutes to get down, even from the 10th floor," said Ghedia.

The backpack is simple to use. Pull on a red tab, put on the backpack, and clip in. Then all you have to do is clip the cord to a pre-installed anchor point or secured piece of furniture, and you can repel down the side of the building to safety.

"It's called self-preservation. You gotta do what you gotta do. If I got a fire two feet in back of me, I'm going to do whatever I got to do to get out of it," said Alfonso Clark of Brooklyn.

The SkySaver officially goes on sale August 3rd and the backpacks start at 750-dollars each. Frydmen says it's small price to pay to save a life, but even he would rather see it collect dust in a cabinet.

"It's designed to give people peace of mind. Hopefully they never have to use it but if they do, they know it's there," said Frydman.

​There are other personal rescue devices on the market, some which can be used up to 100-stories, but the FDNY recommends if you are in a high-rise fire to remain in your apartment. These personal rescue devices should only be used as a last resort.

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