A small home fire can spread to the whole house in under 30 seconds. Thus, when a fire occurs, you have little time to get out of the house before fire and smoke make escaping extremely difficult. Creating a fire escape plan and installing smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and escape ladders can greatly improve your chances of escaping a fire unharmed. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when using escape ladders:
1. Choose only escape ladders that have been tested by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriter’s Laboratory. Look for the certified label on the packaging to verify.
2. Only use escape ladders if your home is no taller than three stories. Using escape ladders on the fourth floor and up can be very dangerous.
3. Never use escape ladders as a primary escape route. Use escape ladders and windows only if the primary escape route is blocked by fire or smoke.
4. Keep an escape ladder in each occupied room on the second and/or third story and near a window to access them quickly in case of emergency.
5. Ensure every household member, including children and the elderly, knows where the escape ladders are located.
6. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully with all household members to ensure everyone knows how to use the ladder.
7. After reading the instructions, practice setting up the ladder several times. If there are different types of windows in your home, practice setting up the ladder at every type of window.
8. Ensure all household members can easily open windows where escape ladders will be used and that the ladders fit these windows.
9. Windows that have security bars should have emergency release devices in case someone has to open them quickly and use the ladder to escape a fire.
10. Don’t use escape ladders for any other purpose than escaping in an emergency. To avoid the risk of injury, don’t test ladders in your fire drills.
Conducting fire drills at home can help you and your family escape a fire safely. Learn about fire drills in this article. Check out more tips to keep children safe from fire here. For professional fire damage repair or smoke remediation, contact your local PuroClean office.