Updated May 24, 2018 by Quincy Miller

The 6 Best Escape Ladders

video play icon
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Don't wait for a fire to endanger your family or employees. Installing one of these escape ladders in your home or workplace is both exceedingly simple and very cost-effective (and is quite possibly required by the fire code). We've ranked the top options here by safety, ease of use, and overall value, including both portable and permanently-installed models. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best escape ladder on Amazon.

6. Hausse Retractable

5. ResQLadder FL50SL

4. First Alert EL53W-2 Three-Story

3. Kidde KL-2S Two-Story

2. X-IT 2 Story

1. Werner ESC220

It's Good To Be Standoffish

Escape ladders hook onto the area of wall below your windowsill with two curved pieces of metal. That curvature utilizes the strength of the wall itself to support the ladder, kind of like the grappling hook. What hangs over and out of the windowsill are the rope ladders of old, but modernly updated with rungs supported by chain or sturdy nylon straps to ensure higher weight capacity. The last missing element are the standoffs.

We don't mean standoff as in a room full of actors pointing guns at one another; rather, small rubber pegged feet that not only keep the ladder from scratching the side of your home's exterior, but they also keep it from swinging uncontrollably once you're climbing down it.

Standoffs exist to create space between the rungs of the ladder and the wall, increasing the stability of the ladder itself, decreasing the amount of damage done to your siding, and, most importantly, giving you enough room to climb down without injury.

Drill, Baby, Drill!

I used to love fire drills. The long, tedious school day, indiscernible from the days before it, indicative of the days to come, could sometimes drag on endlessly. Then you'd hear it: that piercing, shrill alarm. Almost without thought your body would rise and head toward an exit, in an orderly line, of course.

The first thing to consider, however, is how much ladder you actually need.

Once outside, in the fresh, clean air, away from textbooks and chalkboards, away from droning teachers and looming bullies, there was the hint of freedom. Fire drills serve two important purposes. First, they train the body to act without interference from the mind. Second, they break up the monotony of quotidian suburbia.

Choosing the right ladder will make your drilling process that much nicer, as deployment and resetting will be easier, and the climb down less frightening. The first thing to consider, however, is how much ladder you actually need. Every ladder on our list can be purchased in a variety of lengths to suit the needs of your home. Count the stories up to your highest window, then buy a ladder that goes one higher.

Trust me, the last thing you want to do is buy a two story ladder today, only to move into a three story home next year and have to replace it. Also, take a look at the weight of each ladder and its relative ease of use. If you mean for a child to deploy it for themselves, make sure they can handle it.

England To The Rescue

In the late 1700s, an Englishman by the name of Daniel Maseres invented the first fire escape of any recognizable kind. Though you may picture a device more medieval than practical, they were actually window-deployed ladders, just like the ones we're discussing today.

The US wouldn't have an official patent on a fire escape system until nearly 100 years later.

The superintendent of the Royal Society for the Protection of Life from Fire improved on the idea, and the english fire escape was on its way. The US wouldn't have an official patent on a fire escape system until nearly 100 years later.

As cities grew, building codes demanded that construction include metal fire escapes, which led to a decline in the need for the deploying ladders of our page. But since the end of the Second World War, suburban sprawl has spiraled out of control, and individual homes require no such escapes in their building codes, leaving the escape routes up to the homeowner.

Thanks in large part to that sprawl, and also due to the increased flammability of housing materials and furniture manufactured overseas, these ladders are more important than ever.

Statistics and Editorial Log

0
Paid Placements
4
Editors
45
Hours
37,983
Users
55
Revisions

Recent Update Frequency


Quincy Miller
Last updated on May 24, 2018 by Quincy Miller

After getting his bachelor’s from the University of Texas, Quincy Miller moved out to Los Angeles, where he soon found work as a copywriter and researcher, specializing in health and wellness topics for a major online media brand. Quincy is also knowledgeable about home improvement, as he’s had extensive experience with everything from insulation to power tools to emergency room trips, sometimes in that order. Sharing a home with three dogs and a couple of cats has forced Quincy to learn as much as he can about pet supplies, animal nutrition and, most importantly, the best ways to tackle the mountains of fur that accumulate in every corner of your home.


Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For our full ranking methodology, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.