American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A structure or device, such as an outside stairway attached to a building, erected for emergency exit in the event of fire.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Any apparatus or structure designed to enable persons to escape from the upper windows of a building in case of fire. Portable fire-escapes consist generally of ladders, often mounted on wheels for ease in transportation, and capable of being extended like a telescope; permanent fire-escapes consist usually of light iron ladders and landings attached to the outside of a building.
- n. any of the series of emergency doors, ladders, or stairs used to evacuate a building if a fire breaks out.
- n. the entire escape route viewed as a whole.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. a contrivance for facilitating escape from burning buildings.
- n. a stairway (often on the outside of a building) that permits exit in the case of fire or other emergency
“Make a mad dash for the fire escape or try to alert the Snoozing nightkind?”
“He slid the bolts back and went onto the dingy back-stairs landing that served as a makeshift fire escape and alternate means of exit.”
“He and Jimmy Hats and Tony Mullino had climbed a rickety fire escape on Seventy-eighth, then sprinted over the tar-papered rooftops to a building near the social club.”
“PURCELL WAS HUNKERED ON the fire escape in the jasmine and honeysuckle-perfumed courtyard behind Club Hell, preparing to break into the building through a pair of French windows, when the authoritative screech of brakes from out front propelled him back up the iron stairs and to the roof.”
“The fire escape and roof're loaded with sensors and we've got tons of video cameras hidden around the place.”
“Rising to his feet in a half-crouch, Purcell hurried back across the roof to the fire escape and climbed down to the third floor again.”
“Apparently a Judy Blume moment can occur at 3 A.M. and involves the use a retractable fire escape ladder as pictured on page 87 of SkyMall.”
“Heather turned and marched down the hall to the opened French windows at its end, and stepped onto the fire escape landing beyond its breeze-fluttered curtains.”
“Images paraded through my brain: Joe Lentrichia in his loft, Cassandra in her office, the fire escape leading down to the alley, the creepy park and the sound of that phone ringing.”
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