How Do You Install a Fire Ladder in a Room?

Fire LadderAre you concerned about your family’s safety in the event of a fire and need to know how to install a fire ladder in a room? A tragic home fire is something that no family should ever experience. However, planning for such a crucial event can mean the difference between getting your family out safely and suffering the consequences.

Every home should have a fire escape route, according to the National Fire Protection Association. In fact, no second-story home should ever be without a fire escape ladder. Most fire ladders are easy to use and considered very safe overall. Every multi-level home needs a fire ladder just like it needs a fire extinguisher. Choose a quality fire ladder that won’t tangle or sway and one that gets rigid when stepped on. Make sure it can be easily stored in a closet or under the bed. Simply hook the ladder onto a sturdy windowsill for a non-slip, quick path to safety. Ideally, your fire ladder can hold more than one person at a time.

Keep Your Fire Escape Ladder Accessible

The best fire escape ladders are easily accessible in the event of an emergency. Always store the ladder on the same floor or room where you intend to use it. If you have second-story rooms in your home that need an alternative escape route, put a fire escape ladder in each room.

It’s crucial that the ladder can be immediately accessed like near the window, towards the front of your closet, or under a bed. Like a fire extinguisher, make sure nothing can block you from quickly reaching the fire ladder. Keep in mind that during a fire where there’s always excess smoke and chaos, you generally have very little time to react and need to take action rather quickly. Store the fire ladder in its original box in order to avoid tangling.

Only Use a Fire Ladder on a Suitable Window

A fire escape ladder should only be used on a window that’s structurally sound and can handle the intended load. Older homes often have windowsills that have loose boards or rotted wood. These types of faulty windows are not suitable to accommodate a fire escape ladder since they can compromise the safety of the persons using the ladder. The ladder can’t stay firmly in place while an individual is climbing down the ladder and can therefore cause injury.

How to Install a Fire Ladder in a Room

Most fire escape ladders are only intended for second-story windows that are no more than approximately 15 ft. above the ground. Also, be sure to test the ladder before you actually need use it.

  1. First, make sure the target window is suitable to be used for an emergency escape. It should be a minimum of 20 in. wide and 32 in. tall in order to provide adequate clearance for the average person to safely exit.
  2. Prior to opening the window to escape, shut the entry door leading into the room in order to prevent fire from getting drawn into the space.
  3. Next, quickly remove your fire escape ladder from its box and unfold the sill hooks so that the folding crosspiece is somewhat straight and facing towards you.
  4. Firmly place the hooks over the windowsill and proceed to pull the release. The ladder should now deploy.
  5. Carefully climb out the window and make your exit by placing your foot on the first rung. Tightly hold onto the frame of the window until your weight is comfortable and evenly distributed.
  6. Start to climb down the ladder while keeping your body as close to the ladder as possible. If your ladder is designed for more than one person and can accommodate the weight load, help another person to get positioned on the ladder so you can both descend at the same time.

What a Fire Ladder is Not Intended For

A fire escape ladder should not be your primary source for a fire escape in the event of an emergency. Have a detailed plan in place that involves a first-floor plan of action. A second-story fire escape ladder should only be used as a last resort if the main exit isn’t accessible or blocked. Never use the ladder as recreational device or toy, but only as a supplemental means of escape. Only if it’s absolutely necessary, don’t attempt to carry a child while using the ladder. Also, do not hook your fire ladder onto the siding, gutters, or any other exterior or interior fixture of the home. Fire ladders are only designed to be hooked on a suitable windowsill.

Overall, be sure to have a strong course of action and get every family member involved when making your fire escape plans. Now that you know how to install a fire ladder in a room, you can sleep better at night knowing you have a good plan to follow in case of an actual fire.

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