Preparing for emergency evacuation – key considerations!

graphic showing floor plan example as escape plan

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Planning Your Escape Routes

Preparing for emergency evacuation in advance is imperative if you and your family wish to stay safe in an emergency. Your evacuation plan should include at least 2 exits from each of your upper floors as deadly smoke can fill the home or work environment within minutes. It is therefore important to know your escape routes in advance.
We recommend you make a written plan and post it somewhere prominently where it can be seen and reviewed by all in the household or office. It is worth practising your escape plan with all your family members.

In addition to your fire escape plan, and your practice sessions, also test your fire alarms every month. Replace the battery once a year whether its needed or not as it is a small cost that offers massive peace of mind. photo of AA Battery for smoke alarm

Check that your internal doors close effectively to make a suitable seal against smoke, and that any windows that you have chosen as exit points, are in good working condition and you have access to keys in times of emergency.

If there is a lot of smoke blocking your exit, then throw down a duvet or blanket to block any gaps between the door and the door frame , while you should crawl down as low as possible to your planned exit point.
As you move towards your exit, ensure that doors are closed behind you to starve the fire of oxygen if possible.

Practice your Emergency Evacuation Drill

As part of your emergency evacuation plans, practice deploying the ladder that you have installed for such an emergency.
Some portable escape ladders may be stored under the bed, or in a wardrobe, or even fixed to the wall with secure fixings. Practice accessing the ladder and deploying the ladder to avoid it getting tangled on any furniture.

If you are responsible for also helping a small child or an elderly person to exit the premises, then you are able to purchase a harness which will allow you to exit the window or building while keeping your hands free. These optional products will be detailed in further articles.

You can download an example of an escape plan in pdf format, by clicking the link. Included is also a blank template for you to draw your own layout with some additional tips to guide you.

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  1. Thanks for the helpful insight! What are these ladders typically made of? I can’t imagine they’d be metal, as they would react to the heat and be painful to touch, but rope would burn, so what does one do?

    • The ladders are usually made of aluminium / aluminum. I guess they could get very hot but hopefully the fire won’t be following anyone down the ladder. I think they are designed to give the user time to make a safe exit. Thanks for your comment and the visit!

  2. Do they make good ladders for 3 story buildings with no fire escape? I don’t live there anymore, but I used to live in an apartment that had no fire escape and I looked for an emergency ladder and never found one.

    • I think that many of the ladders that are featured on my site, will be suitable for 3 storeys. Same guide applies whether it is a 3 storey house or 3-story apartment. Find a suitable product that can either be secured to the wall below the window sill, or get one that can hook over the window sill such as this ladder available from Amazon . Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Hello Michael,
    I strongly agree that I should have an emergency plan in my house in case of fire. I also have my house that has 2 floors and many windows. I think if I have the ground floor taken by the smoke and fire it would be very interesting to have stairs available on the top floor. I ask you what kind of stairs would you recommend me? I await your news, thank you very much!

    • Hello. Thanks for stopping by. There are a number of factors to consider; the easiest option is a ladder that hooks over the window sill but if your windowsill is too wide, then that can be an issue. For other types, you can fix some anchor hooks to the wall below the sill but again that depends on what material your wall is made of, or whether you have space. I will be looking at some options in future articles.

  4. Do you know if these evacuation ladders will rust if they get wet? I want to put one on my balcony

    • The evacuation ladders that appear in our listings are made from a variety of materials that will all have a certain lifespan. However, as they are primarily for keeping indoors until required in an emergency, I would suggest they are not suitable if exposed to the elements 365/24/7. You may need to examine other more durable products suitable that are designed to be installed outdoors. Thank you for your interest in evacuationladders.com
      That said, some of the products are made of aluminium which in general, are less likely to rust.

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