By Joseph Parish
When evaluating the likelihood of installing fire escape ladders you are presented with two viable choices. You can install permanent fire escape steps to the outside of your home which has certain disadvantages. I would caution you greatly on this decision. Permanent steps are a sure invitation for burglars and others who may mean to harm you. In addition the initial cost is considerably more then using the portable rope ladder. The rope version is probably your best bet but you will have to instruct those who will use it in its proper operation.
It isn’t necessary to be residing in high rise apartment buildings in order to make good use of fire escape ladders. I live in a single floor home and we have some very strange windows that sit near the top of the ceiling. They are barely large enough for a body to climb through however, it is important that during an escape attempt that the person be able to get to the window as well as to descend on the other side. This is especially critic for a small child who could never jump high enough to reach the top.
Smoke detectors and alarms can only provide so much protection and then you must take the situation into your own hands in order to ensure the safety of your loved ones. One such measure that can be accomplished very simply is the use of fire safety ladders. Rarely do you ever hear mentioned that one of these inexpensive devices should be included in every home safety kit. In fact if you check the kits inventory listed on the net you will quickly discover no mention what so ever of these important devices.
These simple devices can be ready made and purchased over the counter or if you are handy with tools you can craft a fire safety ladder yourself at home. You would need to be well versed in making knots in heavy rope. After you have made one or two of them it is important that you instruct your young children in the proper use of these safety devices. Show them how they can use them to either get to the window or to descend to the other side. This would be a very good time to make sure that the window opens easily and that your child is able to open it as well. Paint build up on windows make it extremely hard for an adult to open let alone a small child. Don’t take anything for granted.
It takes very little time for a fire to completely take over a residence so time in this case is critical. Test and retest your child on these procedures until you are certain that in the event of an emergency they could very well accomplish the task at hand – saving themselves. Keep in mind that when the window is opened the added oxygen will quickly provide a boast to the flames and smoke which are engulfing the room so you must stress the importance of quick actions on the part of your child. It would only be a matter of a few minutes before the smoke prevents the child from seeing what he or she is doing and then panic will set in.
Make sure that a meeting point has been established outside the home and that your child knows that when they escape the flaming home that they are to gather at the meeting point for other members of the family.
Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish
For a PDF Version of this article to keep in your library click here