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Fire Escape Ladders Comparison

A Fire escape ladder is simply a ladder that’s used to make an emergency exit through a window if there’s fire. The ladders are typically made from metal wire, chain, or rope. Depending on the design, the fire escape ladder can be attached to eye bolts (anchors) fitted permanently on walls or have hooks to help it anchor on a wall. However, there are ladders that are more advanced and therefore are installed permanently on buildings’ cavity walls. They’re mainly used to assist in situations where potential exit routes are blocked by fire and there’s no other way to escape. Emergency escape ladders offer a much better and efficient way to escape to safety without waiting for fire rescue services. That is mostly in private homes. 

Most often in some commercial buildings, there might be an insufficient supply of fire escapes. Hence, the use of fire escape ladders helps deal with this problem. They create a great alternative escape route for instance in buildings where some segments are excluded from escape routes via fire. In order for an emergency escape ladder to be used, a building has to have a special containing box for the escape ladder. Alternatively, another option is to have an inbuilt escape ladder on a window frame. There are different types of fire escape ladders on the market and each has its pros and cons.

Foldable fire escape ladders

This particular type consists of stackable ladders formed by a rope supporting rectangular Plate stacking. A rope ladder has to be made from rope that’s strong enough with high load capacity for continuous use. The evacuation rope usually moves along a wall and then goes up to a building’s windows. To make it more convenient for use, castings are fixed by windowsill on the ladders. This makes it easy to descend it whenever there’s an emergency. Apart from stacking it on windows, hollow spaces can also be curved out to help with their storage. 

There’s also a portable escape ladder that’s usually placed upon a track.

In this category too, there can be a flexible ladder that can be extended from the windowsills to the outside of a building. They’re usually kept in casings which are fixed to an inner wall near a window. They are very advantageous since they can be used for different purposes. When you have one you can use for climbing for example your attic or tree house when not being used for an emergency. The soft rope can also be used to decorate spaces and is easily foldable when placing it away. They aren’t too heavy and also can be used multiple times.

Permanent escape ladders

As the name describes, these types of ladders are made of metal and they’re permanently attached to buildings’ walls. The emergency escape ladders are placed on the outside of walls for easy use when there’s a fire emergency. They’re mostly placed on the upper floors of buildings. 

However, these types of ladders can have a lot of disadvantages linked to them. They’re permanently placed hence can’t offer versatility in use. They can also be used to gain illegal entry into a building by criminals. During a fire, the metal can also get heated up and this will make it hard to use for people trying to get to safety. If you don’t have enough space, you can’t install the permanent fire escape ladders. That makes it the other disadvantage, they take up a lot of space for installation and they don’t look very appealing. Aluminum can also cause injuries during descent by cutting someone.

How to choose a good fire escape ladder

  • It should have a good standoff, it helps with making the descend safer since it provides enough needed space. The ladder rungs should be held away from the side of the walls by a good standoff.
  • Check whether the loading capacity is at least 1,000 pounds and nothing less. 
  • Find one that doesn’t take a lot of storage space, to make it easy storing it.
  • When buying, the portable ones are cheaper than the permanent ones. Check which one fits your needs.
  • Another important thing is it should be pliable. You should be able to bend it and use it several times without it getting worn out.
  • Getting a ladder that has an adjustable size is great. Depending on the type, some are the size of the windowsill.
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