It took me a week of research, experiments with the top escape ladders brands and lots of phone calls and emails to find the best fire escape ladder for balcony railing.
3 ladders stand above the rest when it comes to balcony escape ladders.
These ladders will turn your balcony into a fire escape balcony.
Eventually, I can tell you for sure that the X-IT emergency fire escape ladder and the new emergency fire escape rope ladder by Isop are the most suitable balcony fire escape ladders for this tricky job and even in overall terms they are above all the other ladders that I have checked.
If you are looking for a fire escape ladder for deep, wide or thick window sill or in case that you seek an escape ladder for a window without sill at all than the X-it ladder is the best option for you.
I will talk more about it later in the article.
However, if you are living in Germany or the Uk, then the Kletterfix fire escape ladder is an awesome option for balcony railings too.
I will talk about those three ladders in this article and why I have chosen them from all the rest as the best balcony fire escape ladders.
It is important for me to make clear that I based my conclusion on a few parameters which I considered as most important, you might find other ladders more suitable for your needs.
Why the X-IT, Isop’s rope ladder, and the Kletterfix ladder are the best fire escape ladders for balcony railing?
The explanation for why I chose those three ladders as the best balcony escape ladders is actually very simple and it is based on the shape of the hooks.
You see, all the other fire escape ladders are built with hooks and pivot points, the hooks are designed to “wrap” the window sill and the pivot points pressing against the outer wall, by doing so they are providing a space between the ladder and the wall and helping to secure the ladder by transferring the load from the window sill and pressing it into the wall.
This kind of mechanism is limited because it will not fit all wall sizes and it is not suitable for a balcony railing(no need for pivot points as there is no outer wall) mainly because the hooks are not curved enough(if they were, they couldn’t fit with the pivot points).
The X-IT and the Kletterfix ladders are the only ladders that don’t have pivot points and are using grappling shaped hooks, which is exactly what we need from a balcony fire escape ladder.
The new fire escape rope ladder by Isop is even better for some types of balcony railing since it doesn’t use hooks at all.
Instead, it uses very basic ropes with 2
Later in the article, you will see a video demonstration of the Isop rope ladder being applied on balcony railings.
The rope even comes with a safety belt in the 3-4 floors version.
By tying yourself up to the safety rope you ensure a smooth descent without fear of slipping off the rope.
Important note: you must make sure that the balcony railing can hold the intended load!
X-IT VS Kletterfix VS rope ladder by Isop which one to choose for your fire escape balcony?
Here are a few facts that will help you with choosing out of those 3 options:
- Kletterfix won’t sell to the US.
Due to insurance limitations, it is impossible to buy it in the US so if you are a US citizen, here is your deal-breaker.
Kletterfix’s main retailer is “Safelincs” which sits in the UK.
If you are not a US citizen and interested in this ladder you can contact them and ask whether they ship to your country.
Isop’s rope is available in the US.
The X-IT ladder will fit almost any window as long as it has window sill(all the non permanent fire escape ladders required a window sill), in case that there is no window sill than a permanent wall mount can be added(More on this later in the article), while the Kletterfix required an installation of a wall-mounted steel bar and the rope of Isop requires an installation of an anchor in case you want to use in on a window and not as a balcony ladder.
The price of the 15ft version(the smallest) of the Kletterfix is about 128.5 Dollars(without distance spacers*), and about 167 Dollars with the spacers.
The price of the 16ft(smallest) Isop’s rope is 88.88 dollars.
The price of the 13ft version(smallest) is about 90$ and it includes a built-in distance spacers.
*The distance spacers are required in order to make a space between the ladder and the wall for a convenient placing of the feet on the rungs and they are not required if you intend to use it for a balcony rail(without an external wall).
X-IT Fire Escape Ladder Specifications
- Made In: USA
- Size: 2 Story(13′) up to 6 Story(53′) (available in 5 lengths)
- Price: 88.95$ for the smallest size (13′)
- Item Weight: 2.7 kg(5.95 pounds) for the 13′ version
- Escape Bag for infants and pets: available for an additional cost
The best way to buy the X-IT ladder is from this seller on Amazon.
Isop’s Fire Safety Rope Ladder With Carabins:
- Made in: China
- Size: comes in 2 sizes, 2 story(16′) and 3-4 story(32′)
- Price: 88.88 Dollars for the smallest size(16′)
- Item weight: 3.96 kg (8.75 pounds) for 16′ version
- Escape Bag for infants and pets: not available
It is available on Amazon.
Kletterfix Fire Escape Ladder Specifications:
- Made in: Germany
- Size: 2 Story(15′) up to 4 Story(36′) (available in 3 lengths)
- Price: 128.5 Dollars for the smallest size (15′) without distance spacers
- Item Weight: 3.2 kg (7 pounds) for the smallest 15′ version without distance spacers
- Escape Bag for infants and pets: Emergency Infant Carrier is available for an additional cost.
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Fire escape ladders
First, a bit background
No one wants to think that something bad could happen in the safety of their home, but, unfortunately, the statistics show the contrary.
For example, between 2011 and 2015, the fire departments around the US answered over 350,000 fires that involved residential structures alone.
From all the total number of fires that affected civil structures, the previous number represents three quarters, which means that home fires are the most frequent occurrence in this category.
On average, this meant that 7 people lost their lives because of a home fire in the US, every single day.
Overall, home fires caused 2,510 deaths among people, cooking equipment being the main cause that led to these fires, followed by heating equipment.
How come the statistics are so dramatic? Well, in comparison with commercial structures, which have an emergency plan, emergency exits, and ladders, private homes usually have one single exit.
If people are caught by fire at a superior level of the house, things get even worse, as their chances of escaping are significantly low. Unfortunately, it is hard to foresee the occurrence of a home fire, as there are very many factors that can lead to such an unwanted event.
Main Causes For Home Fires:
As mentioned earlier, cooking equipment is the primary cause that leads to home fires. So, when cooking, never leave the pots or pans unsupervised.
If you have to leave the kitchen for a few minutes, ask someone to watch them for you or turn down the heat to a minimum.
Heating equipment is second when it comes to home fire causes, more particularly portable heating systems and furnaces or fireplaces.
If you use a portable heating device, make sure to keep it away from furniture, curtains, clothes, even yourself, or anything else that could ignite.
In the case of furnaces and fireplaces, make sure to have them checked out and cleaned periodically, making sure that everything works as it should.
If you are smoking in the bedroom, you should ditch this habit, as 73% of house fires start in the bedroom or lounge. Also, if you like candles, always remember to blow them out before leaving the room.
Electrical appliances can also turn into a fire, if they have faulty wires or if a power point is overloaded by too many appliances.
So, always check your appliances and power points and keep an eye on them to spot any potential dangers.
But, the best thing you can do, as a homeowner, is to get a fire emergency ladder if you live in a house with multiple floors.
Those that live in a house with one single floor have higher chances to leave the house in a timely manner, but those that have superior floors in their homes may find it harder to do so in the event of a fire.
And the more time you spend inside a burning home, the smaller the survival chances get.
A fire emergency ladder, or even several fire ladders if the house is larger, will give you an alternative route in case of a fire, allowing you to save your life and leave the burning building in the shortest time possible.
A fire emergency ladder available in a home can make the difference between life and death, as home fires can degenerate into real death traps.
The parameters that I have used to determine that the best fire escape ladder in overall is the X-IT:
The height of the ladder:
It seems a must to me to check ladders that offer at least 5 story height so it can be beneficial for those who leave on the higher floors too.
The X-IT comes with 2(13′) up to a 6(53′) story versions.
you will be surprised at how many emergency escape ladders are non-reusable which means that once you used them they are no longer safe for a second use.
For me, it seems ridiculous to buy a non-reusable ladder as I truly recommend to experience and try the ladder before a real emergency situation is occurring, practice is crucial and I advise to practice first on a low floor as you can.
Practice with your kids and pets too, the X-IT comes with an escape bag for babies and pets.
The X-IT is completely reusable.
Storage and aesthetics:
There are lots of permanent fire escape ladders, these could be great if you are looking for one, I eliminate them from my research as I find them not so aesthetic, I also took into consideration the required storage place of the ladders, I recommend having one in every upper floor room and a small storage requirement is a great advantage.
The X-IT weight just 6 pounds and with a folded size of a shoebox and can be stored easily under any bed, it is the smallest escape ladder from all the ladders that I have checked.
After a lot of checkings that I did, it seems that UL does not certify ladders, however, the current standard is a voluntary one named ASTM F2175.
X-IT declares that they are standing in the standards both of the ASTM F2175 and UL.
Easy Installation and adaptation for any size of window sill – Best Fire escape ladder for deep, thick or wide window sill:
reminding you that adults are not the only ones who are using an escape ladder therefor it is extremely important having an easy to install one.
The hooks on the X-it are very simple to use on any window regardless of the thickness or wideness of the wall, a few of the competitors can be used only on walls with a thickness of 6 to 11 inches, also being very narrow it can fit almost any window.
The good thing is that you can always add a wall mount or return it to the seller.
Here the choice is very easy, the X-it was much easier to install than all the rest, from the 5 ladders that I have tried the X-it is so simple that any child can understand how to use it very quickly.
Adjustment to balcony railing – Here the Isop rope ladder is the winner
Well, I guess I should have started the list with this parameter as I have had to eliminate most of the competitors from the start.
From all the escape emergency ladders that I have checked only four of them could consider themselves as fire escape ladder for balcony railing and actually approved it.
The second and third ones are as mentioned the Kletterfix and my favorite for most types of balcony rails – Isop’s rope ladder, and the third is the ResQLadder which I have found as less attractive for all the parameters mentioned above.
Main Con’s of the X-it Emergency Fire Escape Ladder:
There are Con’s for the X-it Ladder but they are sure no deal breakers.
The first Con is the price, with a price tag of 90$ for the 2 story version it is more expensive than most of the competitors, although the biggest competitor Except Kletterfix, the ResQLadder Fire Escape Ladder, is a bit pricier.
The second Con is that in order to hang the ladder on the window, the window must have a window sill(as all the other non-permanent ladders), without it it is impossible to secure the hooks.
If you don’t have a window sill the X-it have a permanent wall mount that you can buy in order to solve this problem.
This leads me to my next topic which is about fire escape ladder for a window without sill
Fire Escape Ladder For Window Without Sill
If your window doesn’t have a sill than none of the portable escape ladders will work for you, the X-IT ladder as mentioned will not work too as they are all working by attaching to a sill.
The solution for that is as mentioned, adding a wall mount.
The reason why I’m choosing the X-it ladder as the best for windows without sill is that you can easily purchase an adapted wall mount with it.
The wall mount that comes with the X-it ladder is very small and easy to install and with all the benefits of the X-it ladder mentioned above this is the best option for a window without sill.
For instructions, check out this simple X-IT Ladder Mounting Bracket installation video below:
High Rise Fire Escape Systems – Meet The Sky Saver
The fire escape ladder offers rescue from up to 6 floors.
If you are looking for a high rise fire escape systems than I have to introduce you to the sky saver!
Sky Saver is an Israeli company, it was founded in 2011 as a response to the growing need for rescue and rescue solutions for people living or working in tall buildings.
In collaboration with experts, officials in the defense establishment and fire and safety organizations from around the globe, the company develops innovative solutions for saving lives.
Their flagship product, the Sky Saver, is the world’s most advanced personal self-extracting kit.
The bag helps the user to escape from building quickly, efficiently and automatically, without external assistance or power activation and bring him down in seconds to a few minutes to secure ground.
An international team headed by Brigadier General Yaakov Nakash, former head of the IDF’s technological division, and Bob Kees, former head of the research and development unit at the New York Fire Department, was developing the kit and it was tested and adapted to Israeli, European and American standards.
Sky Saver is the world’s leading personal assessment of rescue from high buildings during fires, terror attacks, earthquakes or any other disaster.
The compact, backpack-shaped kit is easy to carry or easy to store.
The bag includes a flame retardant cable, with a ring at its end that can connect to a docking point, and a unique automatic mechanism that allows a steady drop of about 1.5 meters per second.
The Sky Saver Allows escape from a height of up to 25 floors(260 ft), it is lightweight and with a weight capacity of 120kg.
It is available on Amazon, You can check it out here.
If you are looking for a fire escape ladder in overall there is not a lot of wandering about, the X-it is by far the best option for you.
With a length of up to 6 floors and the ability to adjust to any window and window sill size(including balcony railing) and all the benefits that I have mentioned above, the X-it is the best fire escape ladder in overall.
Having the ability to add a permanent wall mount and an escape bag for babies and pets makes it a real complete and best choice for an emergency escape ladder.
However, if you are looking for a fire escape ladder just for balcony railings(especially for the type in the images at the top) and you don’t want to add a wall mount than the Isop rope ladder is the one to go with.