Monday, May 21, 2007

Fire Escape

Older apartment buildings in NYC like this one in SoHo has to have an external fire escape because it does not have a water sprinkler system inside. The fire escape, however presents a security problem because it makes it easier for burglars to enter the apartment.


My first apartment in New York City was burglarized many years ago. The burglar climbed up the fire escape and entered the apartment through my bedroom window. Luckily, nothing important was stolen. I remember being traumatized for days after that. I was afraid to come home and when I did, I would ring the door bell a couple of times before entering the apartment. Obviously, I can laugh about it now but at the time, I had lost my sense of security.

24 comments:

Belinda said...

What an awesome photo - great angle Ming! If only those bare tree branches were barbed wire, perhaps they would act as a deterrent to would be burglars. I don't blame you for being afraid to return home after you were burgled. Such a violation of personal space completely shatters your sense of security. May the white light surround you always and keep you safe ;o)

Nathalie said...

Hi Ming,
Yes I can relate to the loss of sense of security after a burglary.

I was amazed at the use of the verb 'to burglarize' - is it a relatively new word? To me, houses were 'broken into'...

And I like the upside down view of the tree, the little burgeons look like tiny Christmas light bulbs!!!

(is there still so little foliage on your trees in NYC?)

Ming_the_Merciless said...

belinda - It took about a week before I got over the fear of coming home. It was definitely a weird week because I didn't understand why I was afraid. I mean, I knew the burglars are not coming back but I couldn't help being afraid of walking in on them.

nathalie - The verb "to burglarize" is quite commonly used here. Maybe it is used more commonly in the US.

The photo was taken about three weeks ago. So the leaves may have probably grown in already.

tigerfish said...

Think I will be traumatized for more than days, man!

Though you are writing about security systems, I would like to comment about the trees. So unique...like those tiny decoration bulbs hanging on the trees. :D ...Nice...

pusa said...

first is that a fruit bearing tree?
second, i agree with you, outdoor fire escapes is more likely the easiest route for a burglar, as seen in many movies :)
good thing you weren't in when the burglar came in but i understand you being traumatized.

The Salems said...

yes i can relate to that as well..it kinda double theft as the burglar robs you of all your senses of security,confidence and sleep.
p.s.thank you for your recent visit and comments.

April said...

A nice photo with that perspective and the filigree branches.

I can understand well that you felt unsafe for a long time after the burglary. Fortunately I have never experienced something like this but people who have, feel the same way as you did.

Keropok Man said...

When I was young, our home was burglured too.

Trying to remember the silly things I did because I was scared. Hmmm cant remember much now.

angela said...

I like the angle you've chosen. The tree is lovely against that sky too.

I think I'd say "burgled" or broken into. It's not fun though whatever you call it and I can sympathise with your insecurity.
Angela

Olivier said...

les "fire escape" (avec les "Water Tank") c'est vraiment le NYC des films. cela me rappelle la serie Kojak.


the “fire escape” (with the “Water Tank”) it is really the NYC of films. that points out the Kojak series to me.

Carlos said...

I love firescapes. Branches look like barbed wire, you're right Belinda. It gives the perfect mood to the topic.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I read your narrative with interest because it talks about fire escapes. The first hotel I ever slept in was in Indianapolis, Indiana and on the third floor there was a large coil of rope with knots tied in it. That was the fire escape. Throw the rope out the window and slide down the rope hanging onto the knots. Honest. That is the way it was.

I like your photo but was curious about the tree branches not having leaves.

Lori said...

Great photo! That's a very interesting angle. My building has a fire escape and the windows next to it have bars on them. Sometimes I feel like I'm in prison! Luckily I haven't had any break-ins. Knock on wood. :)

エスタ said...

Great angle.... so sorry to hear about being burgled, that really is scarey. Fear takes a while to leave. I was hit by a car while riding my bicycle last year, and am still jumpy and defensive on mine!

Kate said...

Any uninvited guest, especially one who comes through a window, is a violation that takes time from which to recover. Our family members have experienced that in the past--I in Chicago as I lay in bed watch the bas---- go through my bureau drawers while praying that my exciteable room-mate would not awaken. He left and we personally were safe. Ghastly experience.

I'm not sure I like the idea of fire escapes for that reason. Change the building code. Awesome photo because it looks scary!!

stilettoheights said...

I have to say that this is one of my favorite photos of yours so far.
I can't imagine having my home robbed, I have a had a shooting in front of my apartment, but a violation on the inside...yikes.

Sonia A. Mascaro said...

Beautiful photo and amazing perspective! The tree and the foliage together with the sky is such mysterious.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

I love this photo. It reminds me of one of my favorite ways to take a photo....with my back to a tree, shooting straight up!

I think I would be afraid for way longer than a week!

Rafe Totengco said...

great shot. it can almost be a print if you took out the fire escape on the left. I know this has nothing to do with your story but...it's a great "print" nonetheless.

alice said...

You're answering here to one of the questions I was thinking about, seeing these stairs in NYC...And yes, it must be a true chock to realize hostile people came in your appartment, even if nothing important has been stolen.

Dsole said...

I love the prespective!
But I'm sorry to hear your history.. i'm so afraid of that may happens some day in my house. It's unfair that some one just stole your things. it really gets me angry!

Annie said...

Ming, it would scare me to if my house were violated. I've been lucky that that has never happened.

Rasa Malaysia said...

I love the angle of this picture...so different...I never things this way.

Fabrizio ikol22 said...

The photo is great as usual and yes, I have to admit I like those fire escape we're used to see in films (one for all: Pretty Woman at the end of it). A part to be ssoo American I ever thought they are totally unsafe but probably built when citizen, in cities, were not assaulted as today (all over the world).