When disaster strikes, you'll want an escape route. You'll also want an alternative way out, especially if you're on the upper floors.
In this post, we've compiled a list of the best fire escape ladders so you can have that security your family needs in such emergencies.
When told to expect the unexpected, house fires are one of the most unforeseen situations of them all. A small flame can turn into a full-blown fire in as little as thirty seconds, and within minutes, posses a threat to the lives of you and your family.
By keeping an item like this in your home, you are preparing yourself for an emergency that you may not see coming. You're decreasing the need to panic and giving everyone in the household the knowledge that there is an immediate plan.
Plus, most fire emergency escape stairs, such as the ones on this list, are crafted with ease of use in mind, so you won't be scrambling to understand how to use it under life-threatening circumstances.
“You shouldn't be scrambling around under life-threatening circumstances.”
This ladder by First Alert is ideal if you're looking for a ladder that you can practice with.
The ladder comes fully assembled and ready to use as soon as you need it, and the box comes with a velcro carrying handle to take the ladder with you if you need to.
Despite being able to hold 375 pounds at a time and tested for a max of 1,125 pounds, the product is surprisingly lightweight.
The three-story ladder (which also comes in a smaller, two-story version) is constructed with steel and nylon and meets ASTM - American Society for Testing and Materials - standards.
The hooks are wide to work with just about any standard window, and the footholds are both slip-resistant and equipped with steel stabilizers.
The nylon strapping gives the ladder extra security, and it's overall very dependable. The product also comes with a six-year limited warranty.
For a relatively inexpensive and reliable fire ladder, Kidde's KL-2S ladder is one of your best bets.
The ladder comes in either thirteen feet or twenty-five feet and is designed specifically for two-story homes. Zero assembly is required; you only need to attach the rungs to a standard windowsill and release the strap.
The KL-2S is made primarily from steel and nylon, giving it the durability to carry up to 1,000 pounds, and the individual zinc-plated steel rungs provide anti-slip function. The rungs are about a foot wide each, so there should be no stress about not having enough space for your hands and feet.
This ladder stores compactly, but it is meant for one use only - in other words, only in the case of an emergency.
It's better to buy an extra one if you want to practice, though if you do choose not to head the warning and practice with the ladder anyways, it is sturdy enough to hold up, though hard to fold back together again.
The product also comes with a 5-year warranty.
When stability is your main concern, this ladder by SHAREWIN may be just what you're looking for.
While the ladder is lightweight and portable, it's made with high-strength screws, an extremely secure rope ladder, and a central V-shaped bracket in between the window hooks to keep it firmly in place.
The hooks work with a wall anywhere in between 5.5-11 inches and stick into place strongly enough that it will not slip.
While the maximum weight is only 990 pounds, the ten pounds shy shouldn't be a problem. The ladder works with most common window frame types and comes in 15, 25, and 50-foot models to work with buildings two, three, or even five stories high.
Like the Kiddie fire ladder, however, (and like most fire ladders), it's only recommended for one-time use.
Another strong contender for the would be this retractable ladder by Hausse.
This ladder features retractable hooks that should be extended to the maximum length when using and comes equipped with two sets of rungs. You can either release one set of rungs to escape down a two-story house or both sets of rungs to escape from three stories.
No assembly is required; all you have to do to use the ladder is secure the hooks and release the strap.
The ladder comes incredibly secure, made with sturdy screws, a durable rope ladder, and a stabilizing V-shaped bracket in between the hooks. While the advertisement calls for one-time use, it holds up well if used for practice, though it may leave marks on your windowsills and walls.
It's sturdy enough to hold 1,000 pounds and comes with a red bag for convenient storage.
While durable, the manufacturer does recommend you replace the product every three years, even if you don't touch it during that timeframe.
Now, this last one isn't really a traditional escape ladder, but it's a useful one nonetheless - and you should have options.
This ladder is designed to expand and retract rather than manually released and folded. You simply press down on the two thumb-buttons on the sides, the ladder extends, and when you hear a click, the extension is complete.
The ladder stands about 12.5 feet, making it ideal for a two-story exit. It holds up to 330 pounds at a time, but no more than one person should be on it at one time.
While there are several precautions you should take, such as not putting your fingers in between rungs or standing on the top three, the product is compliant with EN131 and SGS European safety standards.
It also sports sturdy non-slip end caps that keep the base in place on the ground.
The aluminum alloy this product comes constructed in makes it lightweight and easy to carry around. Plus, there are heavy-duty carrying straps that allow you to make sure that the ladder stays closed when stored away.
This ladder is suitable for many uses, and even though being used to escape fires isn't its intended purpose, it can be a life-saver to have around the house just in case.
Out of the five, we can confidently declare the ladders by First Alert to be the winner.
While it does share some features with the others that are ultimately desirable, such as anti-slip rungs, wide hooks, and a flexible rope-ladder design, it also sports qualities unique to itself. For example, it has the highest maximum weight of the five, which is essential when you're trying to get all the members of your household out of harm's way as fast as possible, and meets ASTM standards.
The other factor, which is one of the primary reasons it secures the spot as the winner, is that you can practice with it. Practicing fire safety, especially with your children, is vital for decreasing the amount of panic an emergency might cause and increasing the confidence of being prepared.
Even though First Alert's ladder may be the best choice, the other ladders on the list are worth taking a look at. Just remember to consider every factor possible because even though you should hope you never actually to need to use any of the products listed on this page, you deserve a sense of safety that benefits everyone in your home.
Also, remember to read our article on whether you need to install a fire sprinkler system and the other one on what to do in case of a house fire. These might help you get a fuller understanding before you splurge on a set of ladders.
As soon as you can manage, you'll want to do a test run with your ladder once you buy it. Pay careful attention to the instructions, deploy it as you're supposed to, and go down.
Have each member of the household do so as well to ensure they know what to do in the case of a real fire. Think of it like a drill. When you aren't using the ladder, keep it stored away as near to your designated exit as possible.
Never tuck it away in a closet or a room without a window, as you'll be putting yourself in more danger than you could already by in even with the ladder.
First and foremost, you're going to want to make those fire drills a priority, not only to know how to use your ladder but so you can be sure that your window to exit opens every time it should. Secondly, we can not stress enough how vital the anti-slip coating is.
When you're escaping one life-threatening situation, you do not want to thrust into another one by slipping off the ladder and falling.
Lastly, you'll need to do what you can to choose a ladder that works well for you but best for the children. Kids are the top priority in an emergency, and you'll want to make sure that they can get down safely before you do.
With all the basics considered, we hope you found something on this page suitable for your needs.
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