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Evacuation Equipment FAQs

Where should I store my fire escape ladder?

Once you have familiarised yourself with the escape ladder it is best to keep the ladder in the cardboard box it was supplied in and to store it under the bed or on top of a wardrobe. Please make sure that young children have no unsupervised access to the escape ladder.

Which fire escape ladders would be suitable for an apartment block with balcony rails?

Fire escape ladders with clips or fixed hooks designed to attach to pre-installed fixings underneath a window would be suitable for balconies, for example:

  • EasyScape – 4.3m / 14ft (2 storey) and 7.0m / 23ft (3 storey) lengths available
  • Kletter-Fix – 5.0m / 16ft (2 storey) and 12.0m / 39ft (4 storey) lengths available
  • Kletter-Fix Modules – 4.0m / 13ft (2 storey) lengths, can be clipped together

Do not use standard "hook type" portable escape ladders as these are designed to fit over a windowsill and will not hold securely onto a balcony or other railings.

What type of fire escape ladder is suitable for use with small children and pets?

To be able to carry small children and pets down an escape ladder, you would require a  child harness or pet harness.These harnesses are suitable for use with all the escape ladders.

The escape ladder that is most suitable for use with children, old enough to climb themselves, is the externally fixed Saffold ladder. If you would like a portable fire escape ladder suitable for children the X-IT ladder offers the most stability.

Which ladder can you recommend for a Velux window?

The Rollo Roll-Out portable ladder and the EasyScape semi-fixed ladder are suitable for Velux window escape. 

They feature fire retardant backing to protect you from heat, and distance spacers to allow a good grip on the rungs. These ladders are stored rolled up ready for quick deployment by simply rolling out of the window over the sloping roof.

I have very limited space underneath the window. Which escape ladder do you recommend?

The ladder that is the most suitable for limited space under the window is the EasyScape fire escape ladder which has unique eyebolt and carabiner fittings.

Most of our portable fire escape ladders would also be suitable. These ladders have large hooks which are designed to fit over a windowsill to hold securely.

If there does not seem to be enough space under the windowsill for these types of ladders then a fixed fire escape ladder outside the window would be more suitable. The Saffold Fold-Out Fire Escape Ladder has a very low profile when stored in its folded position and features an anti-tamper, burglar proof release pin or optional key lock for security, and can even be configured with additional release stations along the ladder's length to enable escape from multiple floors.

My window only opens at the top. Can I use a fire escape ladder?

Yes you can, if you are able to break the bottom pane of glass safely to escape. We would recommend that you place an emergency escape hammer next to this window to ensure you are able to escape in an emergency. You would then need to purchase the most suitable fire escape ladder for your wall thickness. 

Please note: we recommend that you lay a coat or similar item over the shards of glass before deploying the ladder.

Can I use a fire escape ladder with double glazed windows?

Fire escape ladders can be used with double glazed windows as long as the window can be safely broken by hitting the corner with an emergency escape hammer to allow the ladder to be deployed.

Please note: we recommend that you lay a coat or similar item over the shards of glass before deploying the ladder.

Can I practice using a fire escape ladder?

Most of our fire escape ladders can be tested successfully without compromising their effectiveness when they are repacked.

As each fire escape ladder has specific testing and repacking instructions, we recommend that you check these requirements before choosing your ladder.

Are fire escape ladders safe for children?

When using a fire escape ladder in an emergency small children should be carried on your front in a child carrier. Older children can climb by themselves. Make sure that an adult climbs ahead of the child to stabilise the ladder with their weight and to help the child find their foothold during descend. An adult exiting first also helps the child to overcome their natural fear of height.

My window sill is unsound. Can I still use your ladders?

Our full range of fire escape ladders, including those featuring hooks, are suitable to use if you have an unsound window sill, as they do not use the window sill for anchoring.

I have a radiator underneath the window. Can I still use your fire escape ladders?

Yes, you can use a fire escape ladder if you have a radiator underneath the window. The Saf-Escape ladders only require about one inch of space underneath the window sill. The X-It escape ladder and the Rollo escape ladders can clamp over the radiator. The Easyscape ladder is clipped into eyebolts which can be fitted underneath or above the radiator, space allowing.

My window sill has not got a lip or overhang. Can I still use a fire escape ladder?

Yes, you can. None of our fire escape ladders require an overhang of the sill, neither on the inside nor the outside, as the ladders should locate against the wall and the top of the sill only. The sill itself does not take any of the weight or provide any of the support for the ladder.

Are fire escape ladders adjustable to fit different window sill depths?

Yes, some fire escape ladders are adjustable such as the Rollo roll-out ladder. However, the most important measurement is the wall thickness unless you have extremely deep windowsills.

If your wall or sill depth is especially large (more than 20 inches) ladders such as the Easyscape fire escape ladder that are independent of the wall or sill thickness may be the most suitable.
 

(doc:538 V1.0). Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. Please note that we provide abridged, easy-to-understand guidance. To make detailed decisions about your fire safety provisions, you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.