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Even if you're not a mountain climber, you've probably heard of rappelling (a.k.a. abseiling) before. This technique allows you to descend from high places in a controlled manner, using a rope or cable with a friction device that slows your descent. Outside of the climbing world, you'll often see military and rescue personnel rappelling from ledges or helicopters. James Bond also does it on the silver screen.
Of course, it's easy to see how rappelling could be a valuable skill for survival, especially if you need to escape a structure fire in a high-rise, or a partial building collapse caused by an earthquake.
However, rappelling is a relatively complex skill, and requires a fair amount of gear and knowledge to use safely. Imagine handing your office's receptionist some cordage, a harness, and a carabiner—she's probably not going to be able to descend from the roof of a building safely.
Fortunately, a new device called the SkySaver emergency rescue backpack has made escaping a high-rise building easier than ever. This self-contained pack was designed by experts from the Israeli Army and rescue and emergency services, and it allows users to descend from a building in three simple steps:
Here's a video from SkySaver that shows how it works:
Obviously, this system does require some preparation, since it must be purchased and anchors must be installed before a disaster occurs. It's also rather expensive at an MSRP between $899 and $999 (depending on the cable length you need).
However, it's easy to use, supports children or adults between 66lbs and 300lbs, and can help you rappel up to 260 feet (over 22 stories). It's also invaluable insurance that could help you escape a building fire in minutes, rather than waiting for emergency services and hoping you make it out alive.
For more info on the SkySaver emergency rescue backpack, visit SkySaver.com.