Do you live in a home with multiple stories? Emergency escape ladders provide an alternative, safe means for families living in multilevel homes to ensure everyone gets out when all other exits are blocked by fire. In an emergency like fire, the common escape path people use to exit the upper floors of a building-the stairs- can be blocked. Most homes only have a single staircase leading to and from the second or third stories. When that single staircase is blocked in the event of a fire, the experience can be not only terrifying, but also deadly.

For this reason, it is important to have an alternative means of escape from second and third story rooms. An emergency escape ladder stored near an accessible window creates a back-up escape route. Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue reminds families that having an escape ladder is a great start, but it is not enough. It is important that family members who sleep in upper stories have used the escape ladder in a non-emergency practice situation. That way, when a true emergency happens, everyone knows the steps it takes to get out of the home quickly and safely.

Most emergency escape ladders simply require the user to place the ladder hooks over the window sill and climb down the ladder to safety. Check your home to be sure the windows open and that the emergency escape ladder fits correctly over your home’s window sill.

Emergency escape ladders can be purchased at many local home improvement stores and on the Internet.

Remember, having two ways out of every room will greatly improve your chances of surviving a fire in the home. Firefighters remind you to be sure:

  • you have working smoke alarms in every sleeping room;
  • you teach everyone to crawl low under smoke;
  • you practice your fire escape plan at least twice each year. Be sure your family, even if you live by yourself, has one designated family meeting spot;
  • you let your neighbor know where your family meeting spot is to they can let firefighters know if you are not out safely;
  • your home’s address numbers are clearly visible from the street.