Guide to the Best Fire Escape Ladder
Having a fire escape ladder within easy access for a 2 or more story home is a must-have to not only ensure your family’s safety but to give you the peace of mind in knowing you have a way out.
When tragedy strikes it’s hard to suppress that sense of panic that starts to take hold but with an easy-to-use, tangle-free escape ladder conveniently stored under a bed or in a closet, you have a solution at hand and can focus on family.
According to the National Fire Protection Association it takes a mere 30 seconds for a fire to become a blazing inferno so every precious second counts — having a ladder for fire escape available, and ready to deploy can make all the difference where it counts.
The Home Catalysts for a Igniting a Fire
Are you aware of all the things we have in our homes that can become the trigger forever impacting your family? See the different fire classifications below. This offers a second look at hidden dangers in your home that might otherwise seem insignificant.
|CLASS A MATERIALS||Consists of common combustible materials like paper, plastic, trash, cloth and wood|
|CLASS B MATERIALS||Consists of flammable liquids like gasoline, kerosene, paint, petroleum oil, alcohol. Includes propane gas and butane.|
|CLASS C MATERIALS||These are electrical components i.e., motor, circuit boards, transformers, appliances -- anything operating on electricity|
|CLASS D MATERIALS||These are combustible metals like lithium (i.e., batteries), potassium, magnesium and sodium. Some metals are subject to spontaneous heating and ignition.|
|CLASS F MATERIALS||These are vegetable oils, cooking oils, greases and animal fats.|
Thinking Outside the Box with Fire Safety
There’s a little more to selecting a fire escape ladder than choosing the right length to correspond to the number of stories in your home. See how to measure for a fire escape ladder HERE.
You need to also consider the following features when making your choice.
1) What is the distance from the bottom of the ladder to the ground? Some ladders are advertised by the manufacturer at 12′-0″ for a two-story option while others offer 14′-0″. The length of the ladder you choose for your home should be based on the distance from the bottom sill of the second-story window where the ladder will be kept to the ground. Will you want family members to have to jump the last 2, 3 or 4 feet for ladders not properly sized?
2) Does the ladder you are purchasing have a spacer option that keeps the ladder away from the wall — permitting foot room for someone climbing down the ladder?
3) Consider the advertised weight of the ladder you are purchasing. Would this be something you would teach a child to deploy and if so, would the ladder be something they could handle?
4) Having a fire escape ladder in your home is a valuable asset when protecting family but what about a family member away at college in a dorm room? Or what about a senior parent living alone? Doesn’t extending that protection beyond your immediate home deserve consideration as well? This could be one of the more practical gifts you could give that would pay for itself many times over with just one use.
5) Got a treehouse? What a great way to get kids familiar with the use of a fire escape ladder.
6) Be sure to check the sill depth dimensions because the depth minimums are different between a two-story ladder and a three-story ladder.
7) Check the packaging of the escape ladder when it arrives. The last thing you need in an emergency is to lose valuable time with shrink wrapping, styrofoam and package ties.
8) Will a second-story ladder need to extend beyond an overhand to reach the ground? If so, this distance needs to be added to the length of a ladder when determining the right length to buy.
9) Ensure that the escape ladder you choose is not a SINGLE-USE ladder. You will want the ability to learn how to use the ladder properly before you actually need it — and then repackage it, available for future use.
10) Be sure to check the warranties on the ladders you are considering for example, the X-IT 2-Story Escape Ladder at a light-weight 6 pounds is portable, sturdy, compact for storage and comes with a 10-year warranty which is double that of other brands.