13 min. read

The Best Fire Escape Ladder for 2023

Equip and protect yourself and your family with a solid and trustworthy escape ladder in case of a fire emergency!

best fire escape ladder

Fight or flight? In emergency situations, the natural response is to either fight or flee. However, in the case of a fire, the best option is to quickly evacuate the building. An emergency fire escape ladder is the perfect solution for homes in two or three-story buildings. It provides a reliable and easy-to-use escape route when the staircase may not be accessible. This ladder allows you and your family to safely “fly” out of the window or balcony to safety. Investing in one of these best fire escape ladders is an important consideration for ensuring the safety of your home.

 

 

How We Picked

  • Height

    The most crucial aspect of a ladder for you to stay in a story building is its height. Make sure the ladder you purchase is long enough to span the distance between your exit option and a secure landing area.

  • Material

    Most fire escape ladders are made of either steel or aluminum. These two materials can support the weight of numerous people because they are both strong and durable. However, steel is a good choice because it is robust and can last for several years. On the other hand, aluminum is lightweight and easy to work with. Some fire escape ladders also have a rubber or silicone coating to improve grip and prevent rust or corrosion.

  • Security

    Trying to escape a fire is no easy feat. As such, you need to ensure that your ladder is safely secured to the house. This is very important because different ladders come with different kinds of attachments. We have provided the best options for you to choose from.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    Fortunately, emergency equipment is reasonably priced, and fire ladders are no exception. However, value is still important, so we looked for brands that provide excellent value for a reasonable price.

Our Top Picks

Top Pick

FIRST ALERT Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder

FIRST ALERT Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder

This is a 13 pound ladder, with weight capacity of 1,125 pounds.

With this ladder, you are sure to get a secure footing as each rung has standoffs. This feature makes sure your legs are in the right place. So even if it is dark and smokey or in conditions where you can't see, you are sure of landing safely.

Buy Now for $70.66

This is one of the best lightweight yet sturdy ladders on the market.

Runner-Up

ISOP Emergency Fire Escape Ladder

ISOP Emergency Fire Escape Ladder

25-foot ladder with a carabiner to fasten on a railing.

This 25-foot ladder with a carabiner weighs about nine pounds and can support weight up to 2,000 pounds. It’s made of resin rungs that are strong and easy to grip.

Buy Now for $98.88

This emergency fire escape ladder comes in an easy-to-carry storage bag.

Most Cost-Effective

Kidde L-2S Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder

Kidde L-2S Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder

Simple, lightweight two-story, 13-foot ladder.

An ideal 13-foot aluminum ladder built with anti-slip rungs. This ladder weighs seven pounds but can support up to 1,000 pounds in weight. This ladder is perfect for you if you have a windowsill or balcony where you can hook it in case of an emergency.

Buy Now for $49.97

A simple and lightweight ladder is ideal for two-story houses.

Everything We Recommend

Our Top Pick

FIRST ALERT Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder

FIRST ALERT Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder

This is a 13 pound ladder, with weight capacity of 1,125 pounds.

$70.66

Buy Now

Our Runner-Up

ISOP Emergency Fire Escape Ladder

ISOP Emergency Fire Escape Ladder

25-foot ladder with a carabiner to fasten on a railing.

$98.88

Buy Now

Most Cost-Effective

Kidde L-2S Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder

Kidde L-2S Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder

Simple, lightweight two-story, 13-foot ladder.

$49.97

Buy Now

Who This Is For

This review is for you that stay in a two or three-story building and want to give you and your family the best chance of surviving a fire emergency if the worst happens. This review is perfect for you with a small-medium size family providing you with the best options, so you can make an investment you are confident about!

Permanent external ladders vs window fire escape ladders

Both of these ladders can save lives in the event of a fire. And whether it is a permanent external ladder or the temporary escape ladder, the best thing to keep in mind is how fast you can assess it and the ease of use.

Permanent ladders are housed in a box that is screwed into the wall below the window frame. They are easier to use — you open the window, pull out the ladder, hurl it out the window and it simply rolls open.

While on the other hand, temporary fire escape ladders come tied up in portable packaging. During an emergency, you grab the ladder, fasten the hooks under the window frame, and hurl it out the window and you are ready to go!

Permanent fire escape ladders are straightforward because they are always just below the escape window ready for use. However, the issue with this is that you cannot move them to a different location in the house.

While you can have temporary fire escape ladders in any room in case of an emergency, they require assembling before securing them to the window. Besides, temporary fire escape ladders are prone to tangles if not properly stored or if rolled out in a hurry.

Why You Should Trust Us

To find the best fire ladder, we researched fire escape ladders from trusted and verified brands, and user reviews, and compared values across considerable prices. We looked for ladders with weight capacity ideal for small-medium families and homes, considering your budget, ease of use, and weight. Plus, we want to lend a little assistance to guide you to make a confident choice for your home!

How We Picked

Height

The height of a ladder is the most important feature for you staying in a story building. Every model of the ladder comes in different length measurements to suit the distance between your exit option (windows or balcony) and the floor. Houses on the third floor require a 20 to 25 feet ladder while two-story homes require a ladder of around 13 feet. Depending on the layout of your house you might need more and we advise you to always get longer lengths than you think you need.

Secure hold on building

The method an emergency fire ladder fastens to your house is very important as different ladders come with different kinds of attachments. There are three ways to secure a fire escape ladder to your home: hooks, carabiners, and lag bolts. Each has distinct benefits.

Large steel hooks slide easily over window sills and solid block walls. They are easy to set up and require little to no modifications inside the room. Fire ladders with carabiners (metal clips) typically used in rock climbing gears — are perfect if you have a balcony. They fasten well with steel railings — you simply hook them to the handrail and allow the ladder to drop to the ground.

Lag-bolted fire escape ladders are excellent time savers. They come in a metal box that fastens into the framework of the wall just below the window and is always ready (it is permanent) so hooking it to a wall or window is not necessary. No one is outrightly better than the other and picking one type depends on the layout of your home.

Portable/able to be moved to the safest exit point

It’s important to keep your fire escape ladder in an unrestricted location. We don’t advise that you have a lot of distance between your exit point and the ladder. More importantly, when choosing a ladder, go for one that folds up easily. You need to be able to easily grab and deploy it in an emergency when every second counts. If you have more than one room with varying occupants, you need a ladder in each room.

Material

Most steps are metal (aluminum or steel), while others are strong ropes. However, for the aluminum and steel options, you should be cautious about the possibility of sharp edges on metal rungs. Some fire ladder models also come with anti-slip rungs, making it easier to climb down in high-stress moments.

Sturdy

Another key feature to look at is how sturdy a Fire escape ladder is. Most fire escape ladders are designed to be sturdy enough to hold more weight than they will have to bear. Most times the sturdiness of the fire escape can be relative to the weight capacity. More weight capacity equals more sturdiness. However, you should always test it out.

Price vs. quality

Fortunately, most emergency equipment is quite affordable and fire escape ladders are no different. The higher-end options have additional features like a safety harness and some are reusable. However, most basic options are single-use and don’t come with several features. Here we look for some lower-end options that are reusable.

Safety harness

A safety harness is an additional feature to help secure a person to the ladder. It is very useful for people afraid of heights or the elderly. Safety harnesses are a great additional feature, however, note they can take up extra time to attach. While we tried to review options with a safety harness, this should not be a deal breaker. A few practice drills would help you get familiar with the best approach in case of an emergency.

Ease of use

In the event of an emergency, you need the best chance at safety. A fire escape ladder with complicated directions can lower those chances. Here we made sure to look for a fire escape ladder that is as straightforward to use as possible. However, you need to do some practice drills often. This way, everyone in your home is familiar with how to hook the ladder to the window, deploy the rungs and climb down.

Our Picks For You

Top Pick - FIRST ALERT Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder

Top Pick

FIRST ALERT Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder

FIRST ALERT Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder

This is a 13 pound ladder, with weight capacity of 1,125 pounds.

With this ladder, you are sure to get a secure footing as each rung has standoffs. This feature makes sure your legs are in the right place. So even if it is dark and smokey or in conditions where you can't see, you are sure of landing safely.

Buy Now for $70.66

Who It's For

If you want the best lightweight yet sturdy ladder, get the First Alert Two-Story Portable Fire Escape Ladder. It will allow you and your loved ones to safely exit your home's upper floor in the event of an emergency.

Why It's Great

This 13-pound ladder can support up to 1,125 pounds of weight, allowing several people to descend at once, and each rung can support 375 pounds. You'll have a secure footing with this ladder because each rung has standoffs that ensure your legs are in the right place even in dark, smokey conditions where you can't see.

Potential Flaws

While this is a great ladder, the height before the first rung is a little longer for younger children.

Other Features

This 24-foot ladder is ideal if you have a three-story or two-story home. The First Alert fire ladder has two large hooks that quickly and easily grab onto the window sill. It also has a deployment strap that allows you to accurately secure the position of the ladder before dropping the rungs to the ground.

Runner-Up - ISOP Emergency Fire Escape Ladder

Runner-Up

ISOP Emergency Fire Escape Ladder

ISOP Emergency Fire Escape Ladder

25-foot ladder with a carabiner to fasten on a railing.

This 25-foot ladder with a carabiner weighs about nine pounds and can support weight up to 2,000 pounds. It’s made of resin rungs that are strong and easy to grip.

Buy Now for $98.88

Who It's For

If you're looking for a ladder that provides a safe fire escape solution for a balcony or railings, consider the ISOP Emergency Fire Escape Ladder.

Why It's Great

This fire ladder has two carabiners that clasp over a railing or to an outlet you’ve made into your wall (you would need to get the outlet separately; it doesn't come with the ladder). With its 25-foot length, this ladder is perfect for any three-story home and second-story rooms over porches.

Potential Flaws

Just like most emergency escape ladders, you can only use this ladder once.

Other Features

We love that this ladder has a whopping 2,000-pound weight capacity, and the resin rungs are strong and easy to grip. And to top it all, the ISOP is also very lightweight, weighing about 9 pounds inside its well-packaged, easy-to-carry storage bag. This ladder also has the option to be hung over a window; if your window has a windowsill, you can purchase the hooks separately.

Most Cost-Effective - Kidde L-2S Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder

Most Cost-Effective

Kidde L-2S Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder

Kidde L-2S Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder

Simple, lightweight two-story, 13-foot ladder.

An ideal 13-foot aluminum ladder built with anti-slip rungs. This ladder weighs seven pounds but can support up to 1,000 pounds in weight. This ladder is perfect for you if you have a windowsill or balcony where you can hook it in case of an emergency.

Buy Now for $49.97

Who It's For

Get the Kidde L-2S Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder if you are looking for a simple two-story, 13-foot aluminum ladder.

Why It's Great

When you see aluminum, you might think heavy, but on the contrary, this ladder is also lightweight and has an anti-slip rung (the steps have a grip to prevent slipping).

Potential Flaws

Even if the packaging isn't the best on the market, it is one of the most sturdy on this list, and that says a lot for its low price.

Other Features

This ladder is perfect for you if you have a windowsill or balcony where you can hook it. A good thing to know is that you might find the aluminum foothold sharp and need to be a little careful when using it. At seven pounds, this fire ladder is very easy to carry, use, and deploy.

Almost Made The Cut - X-IT Emergency Fire Escape Ladder

Almost Made The Cut

X-IT Emergency Fire Escape Ladder

X-IT Emergency Fire Escape Ladder

Get this X-IT fire ladder If your home is on the third floor of a story.

A fantastic 23-foot plastic and rope ladder. This ladder weighs 10 pounds making it portable enough for anyone to carry. It has a weight capacity of 2,000 pounds. This ladder is perfect for you with a window sill that this ladder can hang onto.

Buy Now

Who It's For

Get this X-IT fire ladder if you live on the third floor of a multistory structure. While you would need at least a 20-foot ladder, this one gives you an extra foot with no added weight at all!

Why It's Great

This 23-foot plastic and rope ladder weighs 10 pounds and is so portable that when it’s folded, it could fit in a shoebox. You will love the thoughtfulness put into the packaging of this ladder, as it comes in a radiant yellow storage bag that makes it easy to see in an emergency. The manufacturers also printed the directions on top of the bag, which is again a lifesaver when the user might be confused due to panic and could save crucial time in emergencies.

Potential Flaws

Just like most emergency escape ladders, you can only use this ladder once.

Other Features

This ladder is perfect for you because you have a window sill that this ladder can hang onto. If you don't have a window sill or any other outlet to hang it, you can install hooks by the window inside your home. You will love that this ladder is tangle-free and very easy to repack after a test run.

Care and Maintenance

A ladder is such a simple tool, but a very versatile one. As with any tool, the more you know about ladders, the safer you are when using them. Fire escape ladders are a great way to make sure that you and your family can get out of your home quickly and safely, in the event of a fire. But these fire escape ladders need proper care and maintenance to make sure that they are safe for you and your family to use. That said, here are some tips to help ensure safety.

  • Get a ladder with an anti-slip rung to prevent slipping.
  • Always ensure the ladder is secure before using it.
  • Have regular fire tests/alarms/evacuations.
  • Know the maximum weight capacity of the ladder.
  • Do use a damaged or broken ladder.
  • Get a new one or get it serviced if any breakages appear.
  • Assist children out of the window and down the ladder.
  • Deciding the safest location for a fire escape and its ladder.