How confident are you that you'd be able to escape a multi-story building completely engulfed in flames? Would you be able to make it out of a second- or third-story window if all other exits for blocked? An man in Oregon did just that thanks in large part to access to a fire escape ladder. According to news reports released this morning, the man used an escape ladder like the one in the video below to make his way out of the second story window.
Escaping a Fire: Two Forms of Egress
Did you know that nearly ten people die in a fire every day in the United States!? And did you know that almost 50 more people are injured in a fire every day!?
Whether you're a parent concerned about protecting your family, or a business owner concerned about the safety of your staff and customers, identifying at least two forms of egress should the very first step when developing a fire evacuation plan. This is especially true when you live or work in a multi-story building. Take a few moments to consider how you'd escape from the room you're in right now if your main exit was blocked. (While you're at it, you might as well think about how to exit the building if an active shooter started opening fire. In a lot of cases your Emergency Action Plan will be the same.)
And before you even start considering whether or not you could survive the jump from your mutli-story building, take a look at the photo to the right. That's the window the man in Oregon had to climb out of. Could he have survived the fall without the ladder? Maybe. But, if given the choice, wouldn't you rather spend a few dollars for the fire escape ladder so you wouldn't have to jump out of a two-story building and landing on a small tree?
Practicing with a Fire Escape Ladder
If you currently have a fire escape ladder, or think you'll be purchasing one soon, be sure to practice using it. Starting with general ladder accident prevention techniques is a good place to start, but because these ladders tend to be much smaller and much less stable than a typical ladder, you'll want to get extra practice. The best way to practice using a fire escape ladder is to start by climbing up the ladder first. Once you're comfortable with how the ladder moves, then you can practice climbing down the ladder. Be sure no one is standing at the base of the ladder just in case someone falls, and when practicing, never allow more than one person on a fire escape ladder at a time.
It's also a great idea to have a fire extinguisher handy. Being able to buy yourself a few more seconds or minutes could be the difference between life and death. Learn more about safely using a fire extinguisher and the P.A.S.S. technique.