When I think back to childhood visits to my grandparents, I always remember the fire escape attached to their old, brick apartment building. It was a wrought iron monster of a contraption, starting at the top floor and running down the side of the building, fit with suspended ladders that would lower a person to the floor below once it felt their weight. The fire escape seemed quaint and old-fashioned, but was actually a vital escape route in the event of a fire in the building.
Escape options are important in the event of a house fire, too, but most homes don’t come conveniently equipped with fire escapes. It’s up to you, the homeowner, to provide a safe way out of the house. A portable fire escape ladder is the ideal tool for fleeing to safety quickly.
Ideally, there should be more than one escape route from each room in the home. More often than not, one of those routes is going to be through a window. If it’s a window on the second storey (or higher), you’re going to need an escape ladder.
Fire escape ladders are similar to boat ladders; they are generally made of aluminum or hard plastic and have rigid bars for rungs. They can be either permanent or portable.
Permanent systems are built into the house or attached to it and can be activated with a lever in the bedroom. They are more expensive than portable ladders and require installation, so they are less common.
Portable fire escape ladders fold up and can be stored in their original box or in a drawer or container. The upper portion of the ladder attaches to a windowsill and the rungs are dropped out the window along the side of the house. Each room on the upper floors of your home should have its own escape ladder.
Before purchasing escape ladders, take these important features into consideration:
Once you purchase your ideal fire escape ladders, don’t sit back and rest on your laurels. You need to be sure that they are stored near the necessary windows in each of the rooms that has one. Be sure that each designated window actually opens and that everyone knows how to unlock and open these windows in the event of an emergency.
You also need to be sure that every member of the family practices using the ladders. Young children should practice from a first-floor window under your supervision. Make these practice sessions part of a family fire drill.
If you don’t yet have a family escape plan for your home or conduct annual fire drills, it’s never too late to do so. The more that everyone practices for a potential fire emergency, the better prepared they will be and their reactions during an actual fire will be quicker and more automatic.
For more information, or to get a home insurance quote, contact Square One at 1.855.331.6933.
Even when you take precautions, accidents can happen. Home insurance is one way to protect your family against financial losses from accidents. And, home insurance can start from as little as $12/month.