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Is an Escape Ladder Safe?

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A few months ago, a Tarentum, PA man named Tony T. escaped a dangerous house fire when flames roared through his two-story home.

Early one morning neighbors heard a man shout, “Quick, call 911! Call 911! My house is on fire!”

The sound of glass shattering in bursts quickly woke neighbor Marylou, shortly after 4 a.m.

Next, Marylou heard calls for help and she first thought maybe someone had fallen outside.

As she made her way outside, Marylou saw Tony, perched on a stretch of roof outside a second-floor bedroom window.

She could barely see him through the thick, black smoke.

Within about five minutes, police arrived, as sirens signaled the aid of volunteer fire departments.

One of the first police officers to get there pulled his car beneath the roof where Tony was crouched and told him to jump onto the car.

According to Marylou, “He wouldn’t jump, So I told the officer, there’s a a ladder between the houses, get the ladder!”

With the ladder in place, a police officer climbed up and helped Tony make it down safely.

It took about 45 minutes for firefighters to extinguish the flames.

The fire completely gutted of the house, with shattered glass, broken furniture and rubble from walls and ceilings scattered around.

The reality is, had it not been for the neighbor finding a ladder this could have been a different outcome with Tony losing his life.

Obviously, not everyone has a ladder leaning against their house ready to go, but have you ever considered escape ladders?

If you live in a two- or three-story house, an escape ladder on each upper story of your house can be an essential safety tool.

When considering purchasing an escape ladder, there are three main factors to always keep in mind.

First, is the ladder long enough? Most home safety ladders typically come in two lengths, around 15 feet and 25 feet.

The smaller one is ideal for most two-story homes, while the longer one is clearly best for three story homes.

Next, you need to consider the load limit of the ladder. Essentially, will the ladder be able to hold the heaviest person in your house.

Lastly, you want to make sure the ladder can be moved around by one person, preferably the least able person.

It would be worthless to have a heavy, complex ladder that cannot be deployed by your capable child because it is awkward to get into position.

Many escape ladders are portable, however, if you want one you can quickly deploy there are models that can be permanently installed.

Taking these factors into account, I want to share with you three escape ladders you may wish to consider for your family’s safety.

Kidde KL-2S. This fire escape ladder comes in thirteen-foot and twenty-five-foot models.

In addition, it has anti-slip, zinc-plated rungs that provide stability for children or older family members.

It works by attaching to any window frame, making it perfect for a fast exit.

This safety ladder comes with a five-year limited warranty and can hold up to 1,000 pounds. The KL-2S sells for about $40.

X-IT Emergency Fire Escape Ladder. The X-IT Emergency Fire Escape Ladder fits to walls and windows of all sizes.

Plus, the X-IT ladder weighs just six pounds, so most members of the family can move it.

It comes in a range of lengths from thirteen to fifty-three feet.

It will hold up to 1,000 pounds and will fit any window with a sill.

The X-IT ladder ranges in price from $90 for a two-story ladder to $400 for a six-story ladder.

Werner ESC330 Fire Escape Ladder. The Werner ESC330 ladder features steel standoffs and wide windowsill hooks that can accommodate sills between six and thirteen inches.

The nylon straps in between the slip-resistant rungs provide stability while safely exiting.

This ladder is permanently installed on the inside of the window, just below the window frame.

Basically, this ladder doesn’t require any set up or install after the initial installation.

Simply open the window and deploy the ladder. So, this is permanent the ladder can hold up to 1,200 pounds.

The Werner ladder sells for $140 for a three-story length.

The most important thing to remember is to be sure that the ladder is the right size for your windows and that you practice your escape with all your family.

Only 25% of families have a fire escape plan, so if you don’t have one, sit down and talk with your family so everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire.

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