How to Safely Jump from the 2nd Floor

If you ever find yourself in an unfortunate situation where you have to jump from the second floor of a house or building, it can be extremely difficult to think about what to do in the moment. That’s exactly why I’ve presented all of the essential tips you will need to keep in mind if you want to escape your fall without any injuries.

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To safely jump from second floor, it is recommended to act fast, lead with your feet and try to reduce the height of the fall. Then, if possible, aim for a soft surface while bending your knees and tucking your body. Upon impact, roll your body using your shoulders.

This maneuver can be executed successfully only if we are using the right approach and the proper balance between courage and prudence. Let’s dig into it now.

1- Act Fast

Jumping from a balcony is a really fast action, particularly if you’re just on the second floor. The first thing you can do is remain relaxed and quick-thinking. You just have moments to boost your odds of survival, so you must remain vigilant.

2- Lead with your feet and protect your head 

Avoiding a head injury is the only way to survive a crash. People who fall on their heads nearly often perish, even if it’s from a small height.

A head injury occurs in 20 to 45 percent of falls from 2 to 10 meters. According to CDC over 800,000 people are always hospitalized due to falls that have caused hip fractures or head injuries. Several studies provide comprehensive information on head traumas, with epidural hematoma ranging from 0.7 to 5.8%, subdural hematoma from 0.9 to 6.0 percent, subarachnoid hematoma from 1.5 to 7.0 percent, and intracerebral hematoma from 0.4 to 3.7 percent.

The fatal injuries to workers between the year 2019 to 2020 indicates that fall from height injuries are the highest at 47% compared to other injuries that employees and other people have faced.

Fatal Injuries to workers

The mortality rate per floor fall is indicated in the graph below and a fall from second floor has 4% death rate. Between 4 and 5 stories, the 50% mortality threshold is reached. Younger people are more likely to die or survive a fall, whereas older persons are more likely to die from complications in the first few weeks.

Mortality rate per floor fall

Although landing on your feet can result in injuries as well, they are much less likely to be as severe as a head injury. Maintain a firm grip on your legs and feet, pressing them together so that all of your feet land on the ground at the same moment.

If you jump from a second-floor balcony or window headfirst, attempt to immediately reposition yourself so that your feet are the first to reach the pavement. A plunge from a second-story window happens in a matter of seconds, so you must respond immediately.

If you’re trying to run from a window and can’t jump, grab the window ledge or railing, use your arms to lower your body as much as possible and then jump. This decreases the negative effects of the drop by shortening the gap between you and the ground.

3- Reduce the height of the fall

Push off a little with your feet and hands before you drop to guarantee you land in the clear. Try to slow down.  The magnitude of injury caused by a fall is directly proportional to the speed at which you hit the ground.  

Slowing down your fall from a two-story floor will not be feasible since it takes just seconds, but if you catch yourself dropping from a greater distance, lie flat to maximize your surface area and slow yourself down. If you lay flat to provide resistance, make sure you align your body so that your feet land first.

4- Land on a soft and safe spot. 

If you have an option about what to land on, always select the softer alternative. Survivors from high falls have landed in snow, leaves, or something else that minimizes the impact more than asphalt. If you drop on a surface of grass rather than concrete, you will be less likely to suffer serious injuries.

Relax the whole body. When you’re sliding to the ground, after a fall, being cool and relaxing can be the last thing on your mind, but tensing the muscles raises the risk of injury. When you stay calm, the muscles, joints, and ligaments move instinctively and optimally, allowing you to prevent severe injury.

Focusing on the next move for survival and accident reduction will help you remain more relaxed. This will save you from being too worried about any of the potential consequences.

5- Bend your knees and tuck your body

As you are about to hit the ground, bend your knees and try to land on the balls of your feet.  This lessens the effects of the impact on your body which may be the difference between escaping with mild injuries and sustaining lasting damage to your head or pelvis.

Besides your head, the most important part of your body that you need to look out for is your pelvis. The pelvis is a ring-shaped structure made up of three bones at the base of the spine.

Since it is lined with blood vessels, muscles, and tissues, an accident there will result in significant harm, including paralysis. Note that you don’t want to bend your knees too much, as this could also have a negative effect.

Just as you touch the ground, you need to extend your knees. This would allow you to slightly rise up, reducing shock to the body and increasing the strength of your spring.

Your legs would be less injured, but you can avoid breaking any bones or seriously damaging your ligaments. Instead of automatically leaping up or falling, brace your body to roll forward upon impact.

6- Upon impact roll your body using your shoulders

Tighten your abdominal muscles and draw your legs up to your shoulders, tuck your head back, and hold your arms in while you plan to roll. After tucking your body into a ball, roll at a 45-degree angle onto your shoulder rather than straight forward or sideways.

Turn onto your back, and if you don’t experience any discomfort, roll down onto your knees and feet. Rolling forward causes the most of the fall’s energy to be released into the roll rather than the legs or spine.

If you feel you have fractured a bone or damaged your spine after falling onto your side, the most important thing is to remain in a stationary and comfortable position until help arrives.

How to Position Your Body During a Fall?

During a fall, it is imperative that your body maintain as much verticality as possible thus allowing any flexion in the elbows, hips, and spinal column. If any of these joints stays upright, impact can cause extreme compression, damaging the joints.

During a fall, extend your arms upwards, maintain a vertical stretch as you are falling. Start to position your body so that you can seamlessly roll downward into a tuck just before contact, within the last foot or two of freefall. Proceed with the tuck against mild muscle resistance after impact.

Higher accident rates can result from inadequate or unreasonable resistance. The legs should be bent only sufficiently so that the chest can impact the thighs.

If possible, collapse one leg fully, allowing the body to fold over into a single shoulder roll. The arms should be moving downward during contact and should be able to impact the ground on their own.

The aim is to slow down the midsection, spine, and head at the slowest possible pace, as these are the areas where you can potentially suffer the most damage.

These tips should help you align your body in a way that causes the least amount of damage to it. However, if you’re wondering whether there’s an alternative way from fall from such a height, read on.

Is There an Alternative Way to Jump From The Second Floor?

Let’s face it, jumping a height that is two stories is a scary thought. If you think you won’t be able to properly execute a roll as described in the article above, you can also explore some alternative methods of dropping from such a height.

One alternative to jump from the second floor, is the parachute landing fall. It is a survival procedure that enables parachutists to land successfully and without injury. This method is used to displace the energy of the body as it comes into touch with the ground at high velocity.

The parachutist can land with his or her feet and knees aligned. Let’s see exactly how it works.

As you are about to make contact with the ground when falling, you need to brace your body to fall on the side instead on rolling. When performed correctly, this technique has the potential to enable a parachutist to survive uninjured at landing speeds that would otherwise result in serious injury or death.

You can also use this technique if you are ever in a situation where you need to land safely from a height. Your fall should resemble the following diagram.

jump from second floor graph

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Final Thoughts

If you keep these essential survival tips in mind, you can easily survive a two story drop without any serious injuries. However, you need to ensure you get a proper check from a trained medical professional so you don’t have any underlying issues. Good luck!

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