The Best Fire Escape Ladders for 2022

The height of a ladder is the most important feature for you staying in a one story building. Each model of the ladder comes in different length measurements to suit the distance between your exit option (windows or balcony) and the floor. Houses on the third floor require a 20 to 25 feet ladder while two-story homes require a ladder of around 13 feet. Depending on the layout of your house you might need more and we advise you to always get longer lengths than you think you need. Here we suggest perfect picks for you with two or three-story homes.

Secure Old To Building
The method an emergency fire ladder fastens to your house is very important as different ladders come with different kinds of attachments. There are three ways to secure a fire escape ladder to your home: hooks, carabiners, and lag bolts. Each has distinct benefits.

Large steel hooks slide easily over window sills and solid block walls. They are easy to set up and require little to no modifications inside the room. While fire ladders with carabiners (metal clips) are typically used in rock climbing gears — they are perfect if you have a balcony. They work fasten well with steel railings — you simply hook them to the handrail and allow the ladder to drop to the ground.

Lag-bolted fire escape ladders are excellent time savers. It comes in a metal box that fastens into the framework of the wall just below the window and is always ready (it is permanent) so hooking it to a wall or window is not necessary. No one is outright better than the other and choosing one type depends on the layout of your home.

Portable/Able To Be Moved To The Safest Exit Point
It is important to keep your fire escape ladder in an unrestricted location. We do not advise that you have a lot of walking distance between your exit point and the location of your ladder. More importantly, when choosing a ladder you should go for one that folds up easily into a small bundle that can be stored in a nearby closet or under the bed. You need to be able to easily grab and deploy it in an emergency when every second counts. For you, with more than one room with varying occupants in each room, you would need a ladder in each room. Also, ladders should be modified to the ages and sizes of the people who stay in each room.

The material of the fire ladder is very important as a strong material could give you more courage during an emergency. Now steps are metal (aluminum or steel), while others are strong ropes. However, for the aluminum and steel options, you should be cautious about the possibility of sharp edges on metal rungs. Some fire ladder models also come with anti-slip rungs, making it easier to climb down in high-stress moments.

Another key feature to look at is how sturdy a Fire escape ladder is. Now fire escape ladders are designed to be sturdy enough to hold more weight than they will have to bear. Now times the sturdiness of the fire escape can be relative to the weight capacity — more weight capacity equals more sturdiness. However, you should always test it out.

Price vs Quality
Fortunately, most emergency equipment is quite affordable and fire escape ladders are no different, ranging from $30 and $80, with some outliers in the mid $100 range. The higher-end options have additional features like a safety harness and some are reusable, while the most lower-end options are only-use-once (non-reusable), so you would need to replace it after use. Here we look for some lower-end options that are reusable. While you should never skimp on safety, instead of going down the ladder during your practice drills, you could only practice how to hook and deploy the ladder.

Safety Harness
A safety harness is an additional feature to help secure a person to the ladder. It is very useful for people afraid of heights or the elderly. Safety harnesses are a great additional feature, however, note they can take up extra time to attach – and since most fire escape ladders come with only one safety harness, the next person coming down will not have any safety harness use. We looked for options with a safety harness, however, this should not be a deal breaker for you, a few practice drills would help you get familiar with the best approach in case of an emergency.

Ease Of Use
In the event of an emergency, you need the best chance at safety and a fire ladder with complicated directions would not increase those chances. Here we made sure to look for a fire escape ladder that is as straightforward to use as possible. However you need to do your part and do some practice drills as often as you can — This way you and everyone in your home would be very familiar with how to hook the ladder to the window, deploy the rungs and climb down.