When there is a fire, people sometimes jump from windows. In order for them to survive it, on the ground firemen stand in circle, each of them holding a big piece of textile in their hands. The person, who jumps from the window lands on that cloth (and not on the ground) and thus survives.

What do you call this piece of fabric (or device, if it's more than just a special cloth) ?

This is how I want to use the word in a sentence (X is the placeholder for the word):

Riggs gets up to the roof and palavers with a man, who wants to commit suicide, until the policemen spread out (deploy) X on the bottom.

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    In modern times, I believe they're called safety nets (even when they're not nets, per se). Earlier they were called life nets, a genericized term for the original Browder life net, named after its inventor. Note that Wikipedia says technological advances in the 1980s obsoleted life nets.
    – Dan Bron
    Jan 25, 2017 at 12:00
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    As it's Riggs, I'm guessing you're referring to the film "Lethal Weapon" and if I recall correctly after jumping, Riggs and the "suicide" don't land in a life net, they land on a huge inflatable pad. I would imagine it's deployed by the fire department rather than the police, purely because they would be more like to attend to fires and rescues.
    – Spratty
    Jan 25, 2017 at 12:21
  • @Spratty Yes, I'm referring to "Lethal Weapon". However, in my text, the details aren't really important. It's just a metaphor for something. Jan 25, 2017 at 12:23

1 Answer 1


The fireman catcher tool you refer to is called a life net.

  • life net (noun) a strong net or the like held by firefighters or others to catch persons jumping from a burning building.

Another term, safety net, is also used when we refer to protection for acrobats in a circus.

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