Fire Escape Ladder Reviews: A Must-Have Fire Safety Plan

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Beep, beep, beep! You wake up in the middle of the night from the fire alarm and everyone is in their bedrooms. You open the door to the hallway and see huge flames that make it impossible for you to escape through your front door or for you to reach your sleeping children.

Fear sets in. Do they know what to do? Can everyone reach safety on their own? We know this is scary to think about, but what if it happened to you? Is your family prepared in case of a fire emergency?

Article Overview

Using A Rope Ladder Is A Bad Idea

Rope ladders, the type that may be used to climb a treehouse or on a playground set, are not only uncomfortable causing blisters and splinters, more importantly they would burn if a flame made contact with it. This is why using a rope ladder as a fire escape method should not be in your emergency plan.

Please, do not place a rope ladder in your home as a way for you or your family to safely escape from a fire. Fires are unpredictable, and if you toss the rope ladder out the window and it hits a flame, your escape route is gone and you could lose your life.

How Many Fire Escape Ladders Do I Need?

Fire escape ladders should be placed in homes with multiple stories where bedrooms or other common areas with windows exist. One ladder for each area. For example, if there are three bedrooms on the second story of your home plus a living room with a window you should have four ladders.

Purchasing one ladder for an entire second level of your home is not enough. What happens if that room is blocked off with flames and you can’t get to the ladder or make it down the stairs? There needs to be an escape route for every room in your home.

Why You Need An Escape: 8 Hot Home Fire Statistics

The statistics below were gathered from the National Fire Protection Association.

  1. There were 1,342,000 fires reported in the U.S. in 2016.
  2. Of those fires, there were 3,390 civilian deaths and 14,650 civilian injuries.
  3. 7 people die on average per day in the U.S. in home fires.
  4. From 2011-2015, an average of 170,200 home fires involved cooking equipment per year.
  5. Heating equipment fires accounted for 15% of reported home fires from 2011-2015 and 19% of home fire deaths.
  6. Space heaters are most often involved in heating equipment fires.
  7. Smoking was the leading cause of civilian home fire deaths.
  8. In 2016, there were 352,000 home fires resulting in 2,735 civilian deaths and 10,750 civilian injuries.

Fires can happen to anyone, anytime. So make sure you’re not the next victim. But you don’t want to buy just any ladder and be stuck hanging. That’s why we’ve done the heavy lifting and researched the best, most secure ladders on the market that you can trust will lead you down without any broken rungs or bones.

Best Fire Escape Ladder: X-IT

X-IT Emergency LadderView on Amazon

The X-IT fire escape ladder can be used from balconies or windows. It’s light enough to set up in seconds but sturdy enough to hold up to 1,000 pounds of body weight. There are 2 to 6 story options to help cover your needs. It includes instructions on how to repack the ladder back to its compact size and you can even view a video (like the one below) to help guide you. That way the ladder can be used to practice and make sure you feel comfortable and safe utilizing it in the case of an emergency.

 

Pros

Cons

  • Can be used over any window sill
  • Exceeds ASTM F2175 safety standards including UL
  • Compact in an easy to store pouch
  • If used in a documented emergency, X-IT will replace it
  • No installation or tools required
  • Expensive

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • 2 story – $89.95
    • 13-feet long
    • Weight: less than 6 pounds
    • Weight allowance: 1,000 pounds
  • 3 story – $149.95
    • 23-feet long
    • Weight: less than 9 pounds
    • Weight allowance: 1,000 pounds
  • 4 story – $239.95
    • 33-feet long
    • Weight: less than 12 pounds
    • Weight allowance: 1,000 pounds
  • 5 story – $319.95
    • 43-feet long
    • Weight: less than 16 pounds
    • Weight allowance: 1,000 pounds
  • 6 story – $399.95
    • 53-feet long
    • Weight: less than 20 pounds
    • Weight allowance: 1,000 pounds

Honorable Mention For Best Fire Escape Ladder: Kidde

Kidde Fire LadderView on Amazon

Kidde is known for its fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, but it also makes fire escape ladders. This ladder is available in two sizes (13 and 25-foot), so you can select the option that fits your needs.

These ladders are designed to be used one time only, because if it is used in an actual fire, the heat could compromise the durability of it, making it unsafe to use a second time. Think of it as a bike helmet or car seat, if you crash your bike/vehicle, you’re supposed to replace the safety gear. This ladder is no different.

Some buyers have said that this ladder is too heavy for a child to use or the first step is too far down for a child to reach. This is something you’ll want to consider before purchasing this if you plan on placing it in your child’s room.

Pros

Cons

  • Anti-slip, zinc-plated stell rungs
  • Flame resistant
  • Compact storage
  • No installation or tools required
  • 5-year warranty
  • 1 time use and not as easy to store
  • May be difficult for younger, smaller children to use
  • Window sill size restrictions

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • 2 story – $32.71
    • 13-feet long
    • 1-foot wide
    • Weight: 7.75 pounds
    • Weight allowance: 1,000 pounds
  • 3 story – $52.99
    • 25-feet long
    • Minimum width of window: 16 inches
    • Maximum thickness of window: 11 inches
    • Weight: 12.10 pounds
    • Weight allowance: 1,000 pounds

Best Fire Escape Ladder For Kids: Werner

Werner Fire LadderView on Amazon

This ladder is mounted to the wall, so it requires a little more installation ahead of time but will save your child from having to set it up in an emergency. All your child will have to do is remove the ladder cover, flip the ladder over the window sill, unlatch the rungs and climb down. Other ladders require the child to lift and setup the entire ladder on their own, but this one has part of that done for them.

This ladder can be released and repacked for practice drills, so you have peace of mind knowing your child is capable of using this ladder. Other ladders, which are one-time use may not have this option.

Pros

Cons

  • Anti-slip grooves and standoffs on the rungs
  • Heat resistant nylon webbing
  • Can be used over any window sill
  • Ladder cover can be painted to blend into the wall
  • ANSI and OSHA compliant
  • More expensive
  • Installation required ahead of time (1 to 2 hours)

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • 2 story – $124.07
    • Ladder dimensions:
      • 17-feet long
      • 2.25 inches deep
      • 14.24 inches step rise
    • Weight allowance: 1,200 pounds (400 pounds per rung)
  • 3 story – $192.00
    • Ladder dimensions:
      • 24-feet, 8-inches long
      • 2.25 inches deep
      • 14.24 inches step rise
    • Weight allowance: 1,200 pounds (400 pounds per rung)

How To Install And Use A Fire Escape Ladder

Once you’ve decided on the best fire escape ladder(s) for your family, you’ll need to know how to install and use them. The video below gives detailed instructions.

Have You Changed Your Batteries In Your Alarms Lately?

What if your fire alarm doesn’t go off waking you up to begin with because the batteries are dead? Please be diligent with your fire alarms and make sure they are less than 10-years-old and have fresh batteries in them. You can learn about the best smoke detectors in our comparison article. Being prepared for fires doesn’t stop there, find out what fire extinguisher your home needs.

Does your home currently have a fire escape ladder?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing products and services.

Kimberly has been writing about security and safety since 2013, covering subjects such as home security and automation, identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems and more. In 2018, she had her first child, and that opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family.

Security is a passion of hers, and she knows it isn’t a one size fits all category. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs.

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