Escape ladders can provide a means of escape from a second or third story room, but should not be considered the primary escape route. Use a window exit and escape ladder only if the other exits are blocked by smoke and/or fire.

Safety Tips:

  • Escape ladders should not be used as a means of escape from floors higher than the third story.
  • Escape ladders should be located in each occupied room on the second and/or third story above the main level of the home.
  • Purchase escape ladders that bear the label of a nationally-recognized testing laboratory.
  • Place escape ladders in a location near the window where you can access them quickly in case of emergency.
  • Make sure every member of your family knows where the escape ladders are kept.
  • Examine your escape ladder and read the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you know how to use it before there is an emergency.
  • Practice setting up the ladder from a first floor window to make sure you know how to do it quickly and correctly.
  • Make sure the escape ladder fits the window where it will be used.
  • Make sure that the window where the ladder will be used opens easily and that all members of your family can open it.
  • If the windows in your home have security bars, make sure that the bars have emergency release devices inside so they can be opened quickly in case of an emergency.
  • Do not practice with the escape ladder during your family fire drills. Only use the ladder during a real emergency.