I bought one of those safety escape ladders today- anybody have one?

I was shopping for a new fire extinguisher and saw this thing. I have always worried how I would get off my upstairs deck if there was a fire blocking the stairs to our second story. So I almost felt superstitious about not buying it. The driveway is below our deck, so bones could definitely be broken if we ever had to jump. Now I guess we’ll have to test it out.

Anybody have one? Ever had to use it?

I have one, and I SHOULD have it here in the bathroom, because a fire in the kitchen downstairs would block any escape…but it’s in my storage unit two miles away. I really should go find it and have it here in the house.

Good for you. We got one too.

Now go check the window you plan to use and make sure that:

-it can open wide enough to fully hook the ladder on the sill
-you can remove the screen.
-it’s not too high off the floor that you couldn’t climb over out of it.
-the ground right below it is a suitable landing place.

Then store it in that room. Don’t try to hang & extend it unless you are very patient and plan to spend about an hour refolding it just like it was in the box, for a quick deployment. Trust me on this.

Disregard the following if you don’t have kids.
BTW, have you had a fire drill at home yet? Do your kids know where to meet up and wait for you if they get out a different way from you? Do they know their first and second exits from their playroom and bedroom? Do they know about staying below the smoke layer? Do they now what your smoke detectors sound like, and what to do if they hear it?

Finally, might you consider smoke protection evacuation hoods?

perpetually pathologically over-prepared.

I was considering getting one of those when I bought my house last summer. It’s a single-story house but the land it’s on is sloped and the back of the house, where my bedroom is, is a full story off the ground. If the front door is blocked and I can still get through the living room or my office out to the deck which runs alongside the house then I can go down the deck stairs. The bedroom has windows that overlook the back, but the previous owner built a shelf across them, which the cats appreciate but make it almost impossible to open the window, and I don’t think I could hook a ladder over it.

Do you also have several fire extinguishers? If you have a fire start, and you have a small fire extinguisher in each room, there is a chance you can actually avert a disaster by putting the fire out when it is still just tiny …

We have one in the kitchen, each bedroom of 2 bedrooms, and in the living room near the wood burning stove, and one in the tiny utility room with the furnace and clothing dryer [lint is a possible ignition source]

manthous had me convinced last night that I need to return this- that if need be we could drag our mattress out onto the deck, throw it over the wall and land on it when we jump- that 9 times out of 10 the fire dept would already be there anyway. I hate this kind of rationalization. It seems so easy, but I worry that in a REAL emergency, I can’t imagine we’d be doing the mattress thing…

I would use this to get from our upstairs deck to the driveway below. The deck is above the garage and is right outside our bedroom, so it would be the logical place to get to in the event of fire/earthquake. I do need to test it to make sure the arms will grip over the wall

We don’t have kids.

Just bought 2. Will keep one in the garage (just outside the kitchen) and one in the laundry closet upstairs (although if that’s where the fire starts, perhaps I shouldn’t be keeping the extinguisher in there- nothing like reaching around/above a fire to get the extinguisher! Perhaps this on will go into the bathroom next door to it)

I don’t think landing on a mattress that’s laying on concrete from 10 or so feet up is going to do much to cushion your fall. It might just make it harder to keep your footing when you hit the ground.

The escape ladder should be essential for everyone living on the second storey or higher. Two children (age 15 and 8) in Donnacona QC just died last night in a fire. Their parents managed to get out with 3 others and yelled to the children upstairs to jump, but they panicked were afraid to do so and died.

By the time the volunteer firefighters got to the scene, it was too late.

If you have children and get a ladder, be sure to have a practice run with them.

Now how weird is that… last night I didn’t completely extinguish the fireplace before coming up as it was burned down to just a few coals, so laying in bed it of course crossed my mind; how would we get out if there was a downstairs fire? Several options came to mind, all inferior to one of those. Thanks, xanthous.

Ah, memories. Once each year, dad would have me uncoil the knotted rope tied to the radiator, toss it out the window, and wait below me for my inevitable fall. Then it was back in the house for a cup of cocoa and some ointment for my rope burns. Good times…good times…

I had one stored under my bed when I was a kid, when I lived on the top (third) floor of my family’s big ol’ house. I vaguely remember clambering down it once, in broad daylight during a drill like my dad insisted, scared out of my wits and racked with vertigo. But I suppose if I had to use it in the middle of the night during an actual fire, I might have gotten to the bottom even sooner… :wink:

We have one in our bedroom next to the window, but we’ve never given it a test run. Good idea, I’ll put it on the to-do list.

I have gone so far as figure out how I’ll get the dogs out if/when I’m ever forced to use it. I figure that we have pillowcases and small dogs - dogs get dumped in pillow cases and each of us carries one down with us.

What I also need is a set of spare collars and harnesses to put on the dogs once we’re on the ground so that they don’t go running off.

Yes, apparently I worry more about what will happen to my dogs in the event of an emergency than I do about Mr. Athena and I. That’s what happens when you’re near 40 and have no children.

Yup. When I was five or six, my best friend showed up at school with a fabulous new cast on his arm for us all to sign. I was insanely jealous that a) he had a cast for everyone to sign, and b) he had a rope ladder for his bedroom window!

However, he lost some coolness points when his dad got rid of the ladder post-fire drill. We had all wanted to go to his house to try it.

When I got a bit older I found out it was because climbing down rope ladders isn’t actually as easy as you’d hope it would be. My buddy had actually missed a rung, flipped upside down, and had momentarily been hanging from his foot before dropping head first into the garden. That story restored his coolness points.

We have one and keep it in the upstairs bathroom (our upstairs escape route).

A colleague of mine had his house burn down to the ground. His family made it out safe, but their dog did not. I remember, as way of explanation, he sent out an email detailing everything that happened from the instant they woke up to smoke detector’s alarm to the time when the fire department arrived. It was an amazing read.

What struck me most and has stayed with me all this time was that the time between the smoke detector’s alarm and the windows blowing out of the house was about 3 minutes. It was at this point that I realized we cannot rely on a plan more complicated than get outside as fast as possible. Plans beyond ‘grab the kids and run out the door/climb out the window’ are insufficient. Plans to tie bedsheets together as a makeshift rope or plans to grab the photo albums are right out.