Fire, as one has correctly said, is a good servant but a bad master. Fire has been the most significant discovery of humankind. With the advent of time, we have been able to understand its various uses. However, knowing that an uncontrolled fire can lead to enormous hazards and loss of lives and properties, it becomes obvious to adopt various safety measure to prevent the occurrence of such hazards. Apart from conventional ways of keeping the inflammable substances under strict supervision, today, the use of fire alarms along with extinguishers have become an integral part of safety measures regarding the mentioned menace. However, all of these safety advices applies for either fire prevention or fire alert generation. Even fire extinguishers can be used for a limited extent. Thus, it becomes very important to look for ways which would help an individual to escape from a fire accident. Simply putting forward, the question is “how to escape a fire accident?”
Fire Escape Ladders and their types
The answer lies in the safety device named “fire escape ladder”. In simple words, it is a ladder which is used to make an emergency exit through the windows out of a fire accident site. The ladder is generally foldable or collapsible in nature. Generally, these ladders need especially constructed windows with a escape ladder containing box or some window frame having an inbuilt fire escape ladder. There have been various designs of fire escape ladders.
Permanent escape ladders
These ladders are made up of metals and are permanently attached to the outside wall of the buildings so that whenever a fire outbreaks, resident can easily escape through these ladders. These ladders are generally present at the upper floors of the building.
However, there are numerous disadvantages associated with such kind of ladders. Since these are permanently built, so they can be used by any stranger to gain an illegal entry into the house. The other demerit of using such ladder is that they occupy a large amount of space for installation. Moreover, in some of the cases they affect the beauty of the house.
Foldable fire escape ladders
These are stackable ladder formed of a rectangular plate stacking and the rope as a support. Metals can also be used in place of rope as rope can get damaged due to fire. These ladders move along the wall and goes up to the windows. The window sills are fixed with the casings of such ladder so that whenever necessary, they could be easily descended. The ladders are either stacked with the windows or some hollow space is craved out for their storage. The ropes of these ladders must have high load capacity which could be continuously used. Taking this into consideration, metal stripes are used instead of ropes. Moreover, the stripes have to be tensile enough.
Another kind of such a ladder contains a flexible ladder which could be extended from windowsills to the outside area. These ladders are kept in a casings attached to the innerwall near the window. When not in use, these ladders are wound up using the shafts and are redily available to use whenever necessary.
Mobile escape ladder
It is a mobile ladder which is placed upon a truck. The device consists of a mast placed upon the truck which lowers the ladder whenever needed.
How to use escape ladders and Benefits
One simply needs to fix hook up the top of the ladder with the windowsills and hung the rest of it outside the window. However, with improved technology, today the such ladders are available which are stackable to the window or could be wound up using shafts. After purchasing a product, one must ensure that the ladder fits with the size of the window. Moreover, it is advisable that the family must perform drills at regular interval to ensure well functioning of the ladder.
In most of the fire accident cases, it has been found that the majority of deaths occur due to improper exit from the accident site. Using escape ladder is a good way of ensuring that a safe exit is readily available.
Limitations of fire escape ladders
Here are some of the limitations which most of the escape ladders suffer from:
- Storage problem: The storage of an escape ladder is a big problem. For instance, for escape ladders, either special windowsills have to be framed or windows with stacking facilities have to be designed.
- Size and shape: The escape ladders are manufactured according to the size of the windowsills. Accordingly, any ladder cannot be used for every window casing. However, in recent days, escape ladders of adjustable sizes have been designed and are quite popular.
How to buy a good fire escape ladder?
A good escape ladder has certain features which make it reliable for use from time to time. Some of the most important features are as below:
- A good escape ladder should have a standoff which holds the ladder rungs away from the side of the wall. It provides enough space for descending and makes the exit safer. Better the standoff, better is the ladder.
- The load capacity of the ladder should be at least 1,000 pounds.
- The ladder some for various sizes as per the size of the windowsills. So a good ladder should be size adjustable.
- The price of permanent ladder is quite high than their portable counterpart. So a buyer must decide what kind of ladder shall serve his/her purpose.
- A good escape detector should be tensile in nature so that it could be used continuously without affecting its efficiency.
- It should be simple and easy to use.
- A buyer is advised not to rely totally up on a single kind of ladder. Rather, he should go for multiple escape ladders.
- A good escape ladder should be easily storable and should not occupy a lot of space.
Popular fire escape ladder brands
At the conclusion of this article, we present a list of popular brands which have created their landmarks in the production of quality escape ladders. Individuals who wish to purchase a good escape ladder would certainly find the given list very important
Kidde : The brand claims itself to be the world’s largest fire alarms producing company. Its various products are fire alarm, co detector alarm, fire extinguisher etc.
X-it products : It is a leading manufacturer of portable escape ladder which are simple and easy to use. They provide permanent mount accessory bracket. The brand has won various recognitions for its quality products.
First alert : It is a US based company known for manufacturing products ranging from CO detector to fire alarms and fire extinguisher etc.
Werner : It is a leading US based company which is recognized for a vast range of quality ladders manufactured under its surveillance. The escape ladder produced by the company are of high quality.
The role of an escape ladder is, no doubt, very important for ensuring the safety of life from fire accidents. Thus, it is very important to selectively choose the appropriate product according to the need of the buyers. It is advisable to have an escape ladder at almost every window (especially of upper floors). The length and size along with the durability and tensile strength of a product are vital factors to look for. Hope that the readers carefully go through the details of the enlisted products and make a good purchase.
Image source: Werner