What use do these “remove before takeoff” thingies on the emergency exit of airplanes do?

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They look like a plug or key of some sort, located right next/on the emergency exit. I even saw the stewards TRIPLE check each other if it was removed so it must be really important.
Thankful if someone explains!

In: 8

To my understanding, at least in airbus narrowbody jets, the emergency exit slides can be “locked” in a disabled position by placing a pin to lock a handle in place.

This feature is nice when on the ground to prevent accidental activation of the emergency slides during routine operations, but in the event of a emergency evacuation on the ground, that position would render that exit largely useless.

Hence why airlines/regulators require visible cues that should be a clear reminder that the slides are not armed.

It’s a key which disarms the emergency slides, so that if the door was opened unnecessarily before take off it wouldn’t hit ground crew and hurt them.

They obviously need the emergency slides working as soon as they start take off, so that’s why it’s importat.

They’re probably there to disarm the safety features built into the emergency exit doors.

Often, emergency exit doors will have small explosive devices that blow the door off and initiate inflation of a ramp/raft that passengers use to get out of the plane as safely as possible. Those are disarmed when the plane is on the ground and not in use because even if there is an emergency, generally you won’t need that while you’re still at the airport and before the plane is full of passengers. So you’d just be adding extra damage to the plane for little benefit.

But of course once the plane is full and taxiing to takeoff, you want to arm them and make sure the attendants cross check each other to triple check that those safety features are armed so that is there’s an emergency at this point, all the exits can be used right away to deplane as fast and as safely as possible.

There are a lot of red tags on airplanes that say “remove before flight”. Generally they cover holes that would cause serious problems if they were clogged by debris (like the pitot static system or engine cowlings). Some of them lock control surfaces (ailerons, rudder, elevator) that would otherwise flutter in the wind and get damaged. If it’s part of the emergency exit and the flight attendant’s responsibility, it may be a safety system that they are securing against accidental activation until the doors are closed and locked.

The disarm pin for the door emergency opening. Idk the particular plane, but in short, you have a massive inflatable slide and may have a device to force the door to open. For the second, you mistakenly activate the door opening and the door flies outward catapulting you holding the handle into a fall of several meters onto concrete. For the slide, it deploys outside or inside the plane causing damage and possible injuries.

These devices are locked deactivated on the ground. The crew is responsible to activate them and deactivate them at the right moment to keep everything in the safest condition.

What you reported is the cabin crew making sure the system is now activated so the plane is ready for the taxi and takeoff. They will disable the system just before opening the door after the stairs are in place at your arrival.

The procedure generally include double or triple check with multiple individuals.