| Home Safety: Escape Ladder is Essential in Home Fire Safety Plan... |
(ARA) - You've taught your children not to play with matches, placed smoke alarms outside their bedroom doors (and check the batteries regularly) and planned family fire escape drills. But if you haven't provided them with a reliable means of escape, you may not be doing enough to prevent tragedy, statistics show.
In a 2006 study, the U.S. Fire Administration reported that smoke alarms were present and functioning in less than a quarter of the 3,000-plus fatal fires that occurred in the country between 2001 and 2004. However, in instances when smoke alarms were both present and functioning, the rate of fatalities is disproportionately high in structures where egress options were limited - such as apartments.
"The high rate of fatal fires in apartments with working alarms may be the result of the lack of alternate exists," the report stated, adding that further investigation of the possibility was warranted.
The USFA advises parents to devise an escape plan before a fire happens, and have children practice escaping from every room in the house. You should have more than one way out of every room, especially bedrooms, and consider using a collapsible ladder for escape from upper story windows, the administration states in its "Factsheet on Fire Escape Planning."
"To maximize your family's chances of getting to safety, your escape route has to be fast, safe and easy to use under very stressful circumstances," says Steve Forman, co-founder of REDDCO Inc., a company that specializes in fire escape and safety products. "Fire escape ladders save lives."
Adding a fire escape to your home is a relatively low-cost, simple and unobtrusive way to increase your family's protection, Forman says. The Redi-Exit system is a sturdy, foldable ladder that easily installs on the exterior of a house, condo or apartment. When not in use, the ladder folds securely out of the way against the wall and resembles a common downspout.
A push on the ladder's large red release knob, positioned just outside a window, opens the ladder into an escape route that can support up to 800 pounds at a time. The ease of use and durability mean firefighters can even use the ladder to enter a house or apartment on the second or third floor.
"Some insurance companies will give landlords discounts for installing fire escape ladders, so the investment can pay for itself in terms of real dollar savings, as well as peace of mind that your family has a reliable way out of the house," Forman says.
To provide your family with a safe, effective exit in case of a home fire, visit www.redi-exit.com.
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