Exit Traveler Rescue Kit

The Exit Traveler came on the market in the late 1980s. It was designed to let hotel guests rappel out of their window in the event of a fire.

Of course, you had to carry the thing around in your luggage, on the off chance that you got stuck in a burning building and the stairs were inaccessible. Then you had to find something to anchor the device to. And it was one-use only. Perhaps why it never caught on.

Seems that the inventors also tried to get hotels to pre-install them in rooms, anchored to walls. But the hotels probably had visions of guests rappelling out of windows even when there wasn't a fire.

More info: Exit Traveler

Newsweek - Oct 26, 1987

     Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 20, 2021
     Category: Inventions | Hotels | 1980s

Wondering just how frequent hotel fires are, to see if there was any justification for such a device, took me down a rabbit hole I really didn't need to visit. I expected some pre-1960s, but the list of ones in the 1970s and 1980s just seemed to go on and on, and that was only those in the US in which more than ten people died.
Posted by Phideaux on 03/20/21 at 03:24 PM
The thing will descend 12 stories & can be used once by one person. Each traveler would have to have their own. Obviously the inventors didn't take such shortcomings into account. These factors alone could lead to people plummeting out of windows. I think false hope is more likely than rescue.
Posted by Teri on 03/21/21 at 12:32 AM
It wouldn't surprise me if they were also wary of getting sued when a guest came back drunk, decided to have a lark, and plummeted to his death. No, I'd certainly not allow these on the premises if I ran a hotel.
Posted by Richard Bos on 03/21/21 at 06:15 AM
Anyway, with most of the hotel windows locked at 10 cm opening or just unable to open, especially the higher windows, this device would be useless.
Posted by Yudith on 03/21/21 at 06:43 AM
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