Fires can break out quickly and go out of control in minutes, which is why being familiar with escape options is important. Fire ladders are essential for home safety, but how do fire escape ladders work, and how do you choose the right one for your home?
What Are Fire Escape Ladders?
Fire escape ladders are ladders made from a hard material such as aluminum or hard plastic. The rungs of a fire escape ladder are durable and rigid. They can either be permanent or portable. If you own your home, you can have a fire escape ladder permanently built into the side of your house.
Permanent ladders can either be activated with a level or released manually. While permanent fire escape ladders are more durable and long-lasting, they are expensive and require professional installation.
If you are renting an apartment, you can opt for a portable fire ladder. These ladders can be folded up and stored away when they are not in use. In case of a fire, you attach the upper portion of the ladder to a windowsill and drop the rungs down along the side.
While portable fire ladders are cheaper and compact, they are not as strong or as durable as permanent ladders. What's more, you'll need to purchase a separate portable ladder for each floor that you are above the ground floor.
However, how do fire escape ladders work?
The Important Features of Fire Escape Ladders
Before you purchase a fire ladder for house use, here are some important features you should consider to understand further how do fire escape ladders work:
You can buy fire escape ladders for home use in two lengths: 15 or 25 feet. Measure the height from the ground to where you plan to place the ladder to get the correct fire safety ladder length.
Check the weight safety rating of the ladder. A quality ladder must be able to bear at least 750 pounds on one rung or 1,000 pounds when the weight is distributed along the length of the ladder.
If you're using a portable ladder, make sure that the ladder can easily fit through the window.
Ease of Use
In the event of a fire, you’ll need to be able to move quickly. Look for a fire safety ladder that unfolds quickly, smoothly, and easily.
Standoffs refer to the small protrusions that hold the ladder away from the wall. They hold the ladder steady and keep it cool. Look for ladders that have strong and stable standoffs included.
Make sure that the rungs are anti-slip and offer a good grip.
For portable ladders, look for ones that don’t take up a lot of space and can be stored away easily.
Good fire escape ladders must be heat resistant. You don’t want your fire ladder heating up or melting!
Depending on the quality, brand, and build of the ladder, the price can vary greatly. Considering that this item is something that keeps your family safe during a deadly emergency like a fire, you should invest in the best possible ladder that your budget can afford.
Preparing Your Family: How to Use a Fire Escape Ladder
How do fire escape ladders work? This is the most important question that every person in your home should know the answer to. Otherwise, it won't make sense even to have a fire safety ladder at home! Here are some simple steps to educate your family on how to use a fire escape ladder:
- Create a fire evacuation plan. In the event of a fire, each family member must know the possible escape routes of your home, especially if you have multiple floors.
- Make sure that each member of your family knows the location of your fire safety ladder or ladders.
- Make sure that the windows where the fire escape ladders are accessible to all members of your family.
- Teach each person how to unlock and open the window quickly.
- Teach each person how to activate the fire escape ladder. If it is a permanent ladder, show them the switch or lever that activates it. If it is a portable ladder, make sure each person knows how to attach the ladder to the window sill.
- Conduct a fire safety drill with your whole family. It will give you an idea of how long it will take the people to clear the home in case of an emergency.
Fire Safety FAQs
Having a fire safety ladder for home use is a good thing, but it is important to be aware of fire safety. Remember, prevention is better than a cure!
How Can I Prevent House Fires?
Most fires are the result of neglect or carelessness. Around 50% of residential fires are caused by someone leaving the stove or oven on. Whenever you're cooking, have 100% of your attention on the task at hand.
Do I Need Fire or Smoke Alarms?
Fire or smoke alarms are useful in alerting people to a fire somewhere in the house. Imagine if you were sleeping in your bedroom one night, and a space heater caught fire in the living room! Without a fire or smoke alarm, you might not be able to wake up in time. Install smoke alarms near any heat sources in your home, such as stoves, ovens, fireplaces, and space heaters.
Now that you know how do fire escape ladders work, you also know the importance of having one in your home. It is never too late to prepare your home and equip your family against accidental fires. With fire safety ladders, you will have a safe and secure way to exit your home in the event of a fire. However, make sure that every member of your family is familiar with your fire evacuation routine and how to operate a fire safety ladder.
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