Are you looking for the fire escape ladder for your home or office? We conducted detail research to find the most effective ladders with the help of fire fighters, sellers and existing customers. At the end of the research, we concluded that Kidde Emergency is the best fire escape ladder, and the X-IT Emergency is the runner up during our tests. For more information on how to choose the right escape ladder, you can go through our comprehensive buyer’s guide.
1. Kidde Emergency – Best For Home
The Kidde fire escape ladder 2 story is one of the simplest ladders we had tested. It is available in two lengths—13ft and 25 ft. It has one-time use design and is much simpler compared to other ladders. Hence, it is easy to use against any window during the escape. We tested it on almost all kinds of windows. Since it is tangle free, the deployment is fast, which the most important aspect for any escape ladder.
We checked its durability too. If you see each material used in making the unit, it is durable. And since the ladder is folded, you can easily store it in our garage, or closet. Since it is designed for one-time use, you can keep one leader for each room in your house so that you have three options of exit during a fire emergency.
The Kidde Emergency is a very practical option when you want to secure every room of your use. You can buy several units. One unit per room and keep it close to the window.
2. X-IT Emergency – Best For Balcony
The X-IT Emergency is one of the most popular escape ladders. Many of our experts had good things to say about it. And X-IT was the first big brand we heard when we began our search for the fire escape ladder. When you look at the unit, you realize it is very easy to store. It comes with its bag and when folded, it hardly takes any space.
The good thing are the instructions are printed on the bag. You have just to follow them, and you can deploy the unit within seconds. The steps have enough space to secure your footings. Even in strong winds, the ladder is stable. The weight of the unit is only around 6 pounds, which very easy to handle during emergencies.
The X-IT Emergency is available various lengths ranging from 13 ft to 51 feet. You can easily descent from 6 story building using 51 feet variant. Among all the ladders we have tested, it is the most compact ladder when folded and stored.
3. First Alert EL52 – Best For Budget Conscious Users
First Alert is a big brand who has years of experience in offering innovating home security systems. The years of experience is visible in the design of the First Alert. Thought the ladder is only suitable for two or three story building escape, but the unit is made of high-quality material and uses some unique features that not many ladders have.
We used it on the windows and walls of different width. It provides quite a stable base for the whole ladder. We had several volunteers of different weight and age. They were able to deploy the unit and climb down it within few minutes. It can hold up to 375 pounds at a time.
With name tag of First Alert, you will have the highest quality as a product. And if you want to be sure that in case of emergency the escape ladder will work, then it would be wise stick with big brands. We believe it is best value for the money.
4. Werner ESC330 – Best For Extra Capacity
Werner has a big name when it comes to heavy duty tools. However, the fire escape ladder impressed us with its performance and design. The biggest selling point for the ladder is load capacity. It has the maximum capacity of 1200 lbs, which is much higher than most of the escape ladder we have tested. The load becomes crucial if you need to account for many people. This type of ladder is much suited for a small office.
Since Werner is known for using quality material for their heavy duty tools; the same can be seen for ESC330. We tested it using the ladder. We asked a few volunteers to use the ladder. It was easy to use. However, few of the volunteer said, they had a hard time gaining the footing without looking down. And it slowed their pace of descent.
When you are preparing your house for emergencies, it could be a great addition. Just like a fire, extinguisher, it is available for you the moment you require to save yourself and your family members. There is also 3 and 4 story variant.
5. American Ladder Co. – Most Portable Option
The Easy Escape ladder is one of the lightest ladders we tested. And its deployment hardly takes any time. It is designed for the two-story buildings only. There is no other variant from the American Ladder Co. The ladder has its bag if you want to carry it easily. However, we thought the size of the ladder is too big for the closet.
We asked a few of our volunteers to use the ladder. We observed the time it takes for deployment and how easily people climb down using the ladder. Since it is one of the lightest and simplest ladder, it hardly takes any time for deployment. However, the railing is not as stable as it should be. User needs to be careful while climbing.
We would advise you to get this escape ladder only if you want something basic but high quality. The bag included in the package helps you to keep the ladder organized.
6. ResQLadder – Best Steel Constructed Unit
If doubt the use of nylon for the rails, you can get ResQLadder which is 100 per cent steel design. The rungs, hooks, and standoffs, everything is made of steel. It is one of the strongest fire escape ladders we had for testing. There is no installation required. It fits on any window or wall with the help of hooks. Though there is no bag included in the package, you can deploy it right out of the box.
The maximum thickness of the wall it can fit into is 10” which is more than enough. Though it uses steel chain design, the maximum weight it can take is 1000 lbs, which almost the same as the nylon fire escape ladder. There are several variants based on the length from the manufacturer. The shortest is 13’, which is suitable for a two-story building, and the longest one is 50’, which can be used for six-story buildings.
After testing so many fire escape ladder, we feel steel is strong material, and it somehow gives more confidence over nylon based fire escape. But both are similar, but nylon is much lighter and easier to deploy.
7. ISOP Emergency – Best Polyester Based Unit
The rope based escape ladders have the highest capacity compared to other types of fire escape ladders. ISOP Emergency is the few of the rope based fire escape ladder we tested. If you look at the build quality of this unit, it is made of high-quality polyester. It is available in two lengths 16 ft and 25 ft. It has a load capacity of more than 2000 lbs, which is much higher compared to the escape ladders on this list.
The rope doesn’t get tangled easily, but with ropes, it keeps moving if the conditions are windy. And the gaining footings takes time because there is no standoff between the ladder and wall. However, the weight is much lower. It is around 7.62, much less than most of the fire escape ladders we had in our lab. It comes with a waterproof bag, which makes it easy to carry around.
Thought the ISOP Emergency 3 story may seem secure, it suitable for building like offices where most of the people are adult. Kids require the much better footing, and without standoffs, it is not possible.
Buyer’s Guide – What Factor To Consider?
There are so many companies offering ladders, and many of them look almost similar. So, it is important to know everything about the ladder that influences your purchase. We had hired 11 experts had years of experience in either manufacturing or sales of ladders. With the help of their expertise, we were able to compile a few factors and how they could help you with your purchase.
1. Load Capacity
The load capacity is the most important factor for a fire escape ladder. When an emergency arises, you want to evacuate the building as soon as possible, and you want maximum people climbing down the ladders for fast evacuation. Most of the good quality fire escape ladder has a load capacity of around 1000 lbs. Anything more than 1000 lbs. is more than enough for any home. ISOP Emergency has the highest load capacity among all the ladders we had in our lab, which is around 2000 lbs.
2. Build Quality
The build quality depends mostly on the type of material used. The materials used in the making of fire escape ladders is nylon, steel and polyester. Mostly the combination of steel and nylon is used. Steel is used for the hooks and rungs while nylon is used for the rail. Other than that, polyester is used for rope fire escape ladders. In case you want to go with something that is purely made of steel, then you can choose ResQLadder . And if you want to go with a combination steel and nylon, Kidde Emergency is the best option.
In case of a fire emergency, time is the most crucial factor in saving a life. The faster the ladder can be deployed; higher are the chances of saving lives. You find two types of fire escape ladder based on the deployment. The first requires prior installation at the location of the exit. The Werner ESC330 is the biggest example of it. Other needs to deployed at the time of emergency. They have hook or carabines which can place our the neared window or walls. The installed escape ladder requires no deployment. Hence they provide a much faster way to escape. However, fire emergency is unpredictable; you require portable ladders which can be used anywhere you want.
The standoffs are crucial in keeping the ladder away from the wall. If the steps are not usually wide, and if they are right against the wall, gaining footing takes time. But with the help of standoff, the steps are more stable and provide enough room for feet. So even without looking down, you can climb down the ladders. The best example of a fire escape ladder with standoff is First Alert .
5. Anti-Slip Features
An anti-slip feature is nothing but a coating or covering that keeps the ladder in one place. While using ladder stability is important. Especially, when there is wind ladder may keep swaying, and with weight the on the ladder, hooks may slip. To stop that anti-slip coating and cover is important. Even on the steps for better grip, the anti-slip coating is used. Almost all the unit we have mentioned in this list are anti-slip.
How Do We Conduct Tests For The Fire Escape Ladders?
The first step of our testing process is to identify the units that are either the best seller or popular among the users. For that, we hired nine experts which included three ex-fireman, four escape ladder sellers and two safety experts. They helped us narrow down 24 different fire escape ladders and acquired all of them for testing. Before we began testing each ladder, we determined the parameters of the test that would allow us to learn more about each unit.
After we had the test parameters, we began our testing process. For this product, we also hired a few volunteers along with experts. These volunteers included people of all ages. We had 6-10 years of kids, three teenage kids and four adults. We asked all of them to use each ladder to climb down a building. We also asked them to install or deploy the ladder. By hiring volunteers who have never used the ladder, we added a human element to the tests. Rest tests were more about knowing the strengths and durability of the product.
After we had all the test results, we asked our team to score each unit based on three factors—deployment, ease of use and durability. After calculating the overall, score, we were able to sort the ladders and choose the top seven from the list. Here is the scorecard of seven fire escape ladders from our test:
Fire Escape Ladder tests
|Product||Deployment||Ease Of Use||Durability||Overall||Price|
|Kidde Emergency||97.3||96.8||96.8||96.9||Check Price|
|X-IT Emergency||97.1||97.2||96.6||96.9||Check Price|
|First Alert EL52||96.9||95.5||96.7||96.7||Check Price|
|Werner ESC330||96.8||96.5||96.3||96.5||Check Price|
|American Ladder Co.||96.3||96.4||96.5||96.4||Check Price|
|ISOP Emergency||95.9||96.3||96.1||96.1||Check Price|
With products like fire escape ladders, you have to be sure of the quality, and whenever you use it, it must work. They are important for safety in unforeseen incidences. Hence, take as much as time you want while choosing the ladder. We would advise you to stick with our list if you want to be sure about the quality of the ladders. Go through our fire escape ladder reviews and buyer’s guide if you have specific requirements for escape ladder.