|A complete fire escape plan for your home
should include at least one emergency escape
ladder from the higher floors. These can
come pre-packaged and mounted in a case under
a bedroom window inside the home or with
large windowsill hooks that allow the ladder
to be used at different windows. In the event
of a fire, you open the window, pull the
ladder out of its case, and fling it down
the side to make an escape path.
Look for these features when
an emergency escape ladder:
- Chains encased in some sort or cover to keep
from getting entangled. Rope ladders should
be treated with flame retardant.
- Slip-resistant foot holds
- Sufficient length (12 feet for 1st and 2nd
floor exits, 20 feet for 3rd floor)
- UL-listing label to identifying it as a tested
design that can resist damage from the fire
- Capable of supporting more than one person
at a time, or one heavy person (typical load
limits are 450 lbs. per step and 1000 lbs.
total. If possible, however, the ladder should
be used by one person at a time.
- Standoffs incorporated on the ladder rails
to keep it away from the house when deployed
in order to allow the ample room to put your
foot on the step.
- While home versions tend to be packaged in
unmarked containers to blend better into
everday decor, ladders intended for public
places should be easily visible and adequately
Note that when installing a wall-mounted
emergency escape ladder, be sure
the ladder case to a wall stud
or other structural
member, not just the sheet rock.