Using Fire Escape Ladder Locks Correctly

If you live in a multi-story house or an apartment in San Francisco, CA, it is a good idea to know how to use a fire escape ladder. The most critical part of these ladders is the functionality and use of fire escape ladder locks, as they ensure your descent from your window to the ground is an uneventful one. If you are considering a permanent or temporary fire escape ladder, here are five tips on using them correctly:

  • Choose the right one: Fire escape ladders are your primary option if you do not have space for a fire escape staircase. They can be portable, folding or permanent. All types have different locking systems, and you want to choose one that is easy to secure. Check and see how they connect. If a ladder requires a window sill and your upstairs windows do not have them, that is not the ladder for you. For children or older household members with mobility issues, choose an anti-slip ladder for additional safety.
  • Watch the weight limit: You also want to check weight limits. Even if you purchase the ladder for a child’s room, remember that kids grow up. A ladder that helps them when they are five will not work when they turn 15. Your best course of action is to choose ladders with weight ratings of at least 1,000 pounds. That way, multiple family members can escape at the same time.
  • Choose the right length: For two-story homes, ladders should be at least 13 to 15 feet. For three-story homes, choose a ladder that is 20 to 25 feet long. If you live in an apartment, go on the longer side of these recommendations. Apartment buildings taller than three stories should have fire escape staircases.
  • Test the ladder: When you purchase the ladder, have all household members test it out. The time to climb a fire escape ladder and learn to activate the locks is not when your home is on fire and you have two minutes to escape. Work out kinks in less stressful circumstances, and teach household members how to descend the ladder. You will also confirm whether the ladder is long and stable enough for use. If there are any doubts as to its functions, return it to your retailer. Once you confirm its effectiveness, test the ladder at least every other month.
  • Stay current on maintenance: If you install a permanent fire escape ladder, your attention to it does not end. Ladders need maintenance and repairs, as the elements will wear away at them. Locks rust and become weak, which does not help you if your home is on fire. Ladder systems can even lock up. Do not ignore your fire escape ladders—inspect them frequently, and call a fire escape service if anything seems off.

Great Escape Fire Escape Service offers escape ladder services, including the repair and maintenance of fire escape ladder locks. If you need to know how to use a fire escape ladder or have us check the functionality and use of fire escape ladder locks for your building in San Francisco, CA, call us today to schedule an appointment.

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