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The 5 Best Fire Escape Ladders (2023 Review)

From pet rescue crates to multi-story ladders, we researched the best fire escape ladders and devices on Amazon to help you find the one that’s right for you.

Kidde fire escape ladder and ISOP fire escape ladder isolated on a blue grid paper background Courtesy Amazon

The potential of a house fire is an ever-present danger for any homeowner. While a trusty fire extinguisher can help ease your mind, a fire escape ladder may also be necessary if you live in a home with two or more stories.

To help you navigate the different lengths, weights, and more, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best fire escape ladders on Amazon.

From pet rescue crates to multi-story ladders, learn more about our top recommendations, compare key features, and get answers to some common questions below.


In This Guide: Top 5 | Buyer’s Guide | FAQs | Why Trust This Old House

Compare Top Fire Escape Ladders

Product Length Reach Weight Capacity Weight Warranty
Product Length Reach Weight Capacity Weight Warranty
Kidde Fire Escape Two-Story Ladder 13 feet 2 stories 1,000 pounds 7.7 pounds 5-year
Hausse Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder 13 feet 2 stories 1,000 pounds 11.3 pounds Not listed
ISOP Emergency Escape Bag for Pets 50 feet 3–5 stories 100 pounds 4.4 pounds Not listed
Kidde Fire Escape Three-Story Ladder 25 feet 3 stories 1,000 pounds 12 pounds 5-year
ISOP Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder 16 feet 2 stories 2,000 pounds 8.8 pounds 1-year

Top 5 Fire Escape Ladders


Lightest Ladder: Kidde Fire Escape Two-Story Ladder

Kidde fire escape ladder for two stories with product packaging

Kidde Fire Escape Two-Story Ladder

  • $64

Prices taken at time of publishing.

At just 7.7 pounds, this fire escape ladder is lightweight enough for small children to handle. For additional reassurance in the event of an emergency, the ladder has a tangle-free design, anti-slip rungs, and a five-year warranty. Plus, no tools are required to deploy the ladder.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Has a high-visibility red color
✔ Comes with a long five-year warranty
✔ Doesn’t require any assembly

✘ Doesn’t come with a storage bag
✘ Not long enough for homes with basements or attics

What Customers Are Saying

Positively, customers valued the sturdy design, clear directions, and affordable price of this fire escape ladder. Several positive reviews also highlighted its ease of use. Conversely, some reviewers didn’t understand why the manufacturer said that they could only use the ladder once because this meant that they couldn’t practice with it.


Best Storage Bag: Hausse Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder

Red Hausse two-story fire escape ladder with featured storage bag

Hausse Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder

  • $84

Prices taken at time of publishing.

With no required assembly or tools, this escape ladder is simple to use in the event of a house fire. It’s tested to hold up to 1,000 pounds, so multiple people can climb down it at once. Until you need it, you can store it in the included canvas bag. 

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Has retractable ladder hooks for compact storage
✔ Has an impressive 1,000-pound weight capacity
✔ Can store the ladder in the bag in a closet or under a bed

✘ Doesn’t mention a warranty
✘ Has sharp rung edges that could puncture the storage bag

What Customers Are Saying

Many happy customers thought that this two-story fire escape ladder was made with quality materials that could the weight of multiple family members. Unfortunately, some customers complained about the thin canvas material of the storage bag, reporting that the sharp edges of the rungs tore through it.


Best for Pets: ISOP Pet Emergency Escape Bag

ISOP fire evacuation device for pets with dog inside

ISOP Pet Emergency Escape Bag

  • $56

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Since it’s not safe to carry pets weighing up to 100 pounds down a fire escape ladder, this evacuation crate device features an enclosure that contains your cat or dog and a rope that pulls them to safety. ISOP also offers a smaller version for pets that weigh less than 55 pounds.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Encloses your pet to prevent them from falling
✔ Includes 50 feet of rope for multi-story homes
✔ Folds down for easy storage

✘ Does include a cushion for fall protection
✘ Has a limited weight capacity of 100 pounds

What Customers Are Saying

Many pet lovers found peace of mind with this fire evacuation system. They specifically mentioned the length and quality of the rope and the size of the enclosure. Conversely, some customers thought the air holes in the crate were large enough that small animals could try to hop out.


Best Three-Story Ladder: Kidde Fire Escape Three-Story Ladder

Red Kidde fire escape ladder for three-story buildings

Kidde Fire Escape Three-Story Ladder

  • $82

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Intended to fit most windows and windowsills, this tangle-free fire escape ladder is 25 feet long to reach the ground from three stories up. The rungs are made with reinforced zinc-plated steel to stay steady as occupants climb down the ladder.  

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Has a flame-resistant construction in case the fire makes it to your room
✔ Features anti-slip rungs
✔ Has a tangle-free design to ensure quick deployment

✘ Weighs nearly 15 pounds
✘ Not reusable

What Customers Are Saying

Positive feedback for this fire escape ladder included its compact size, durable and sturdy construction, and ease of deployment. However, some users wished that the ladder wasn’t single-use so that they could practice deploying and climbing it.


Highest Load Capacity: ISOP Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder

Yellow ISOP two-story fire escape rope ladder

ISOP Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder

  • $73

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This two-story fire escape ladder has an impressive load capacity of 2,000 pounds. It uses climbing carabiners and reinforced nylon for a lightweight yet supportive design. The manufacturer also wove a reflective strip into each side to make the ladder visible in the dark. 

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Comes with two professional carabiners that attach to the window frame
✔ Available in other lengths
✔ Can purchase another version that has hooks instead of carabiners

✘ Costs more due to nylon construction and 2,000-pound capacity
✘ Takes longer to deploy than other fire escape ladders

What Customers Are Saying

Satisfied users of this fire escape ladder thought that it was easy to deploy and held in place. The included storage bag was also a welcome addition. Unsatisfied users thought that the rope could have been longer and more stable.


Buyer’s Guide

Smoke detectors, fire alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors alert you to an emergency. Once you know that you need to get out, you can use a fire escape ladder to climb out of a window. To help you find a ladder that meets the needs of your family and home, we outlined the following factors.

Length and Number of Stories

Two-story fire escape ladders are the most common options on the market. They typically range from 13 to 16 feet long. Three-story fire escape ladders may reach 25 or 30 feet. If you have more than three stories, you can find longer ladders, though they’re less common.

Weight Capacity

The weight or load capacity of a fire escape ladder isn’t a concern unless you have a large family with several individuals who will need to climb the rungs at once. Most fire escape ladders—whether two- or three-story versions—can safely hold 1,000 pounds. If that’s not enough weight, you can find models with a 2,000-pound capacity.

Deployment

In the event of a house fire, you don’t want your fire escape ladder to tangle as you’re deploying it. Your ladder should have a quick-deploy mechanism that unfurls the rungs in one uniform motion. Tangle-free escape ladders are also easier to repack in their included storage bag for future use.

Weight

A quality fire escape ladder should be lightweight enough for any family member—even young ones—to handle in an emergency situation. Fortunately, most fire escape ladders weigh less than 10 or 15 pounds.

Warranty

Most fire escape ladders come with a warranty, with one- and five-year time frames being fairly common. Even with a warranty, however, many fire escape ladders aren’t designed to be reused. Once you deploy one to escape a fire, you can’t refold it. The warranty is only meant to tell you how long the ladder should last, offering a replacement if it breaks while you’re storing or using it within that time period.

UL Certification

The Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an independent organization that certifies the safety of various products by conducting rigorous testing. The UL usually tests fire escape ladders, so if yours has a certification, you can be confident in its durability.


How To Prevent a House Fire

A fire escape ladder, like a fire extinguisher, is something that you hope to never use. By taking the following steps, you can greatly reduce the risk of a fire.

  • Keep your oven, toaster, stove, and other appliances clean so that crumbs don’t ignite.
  • When you’re cooking, don’t leave any active burners or appliances unattended for more than a few minutes.
  • Keep a standard Class A, B, and C fire extinguisher under your sink or in your pantry to quickly put out cooking fires.
  • Never attempt to put out a grease fire with water because it causes the flames to grow. Instead, smother the grease fire with a lid or pan.
  • Be careful when you’re plugging in electronics, especially with extension cords. Most outlets have a certain wattage or voltage rating. If you go past this rating, then you could start an electrical fire.
  • Never leave a fire source, such as a fire pit or electric fireplace, unattended. Also, make sure to regularly clean and inspect your fireplace.
  • Test your smoke alarms on the schedule that their manufacturer recommends.
  • Don’t leave a burning candle unattended. When in doubt, blow out the candle, even if it means relighting it a few minutes later.
  • Empty your dryer’s lint trap every time you do a load of laundry.
  • Unplug any items that you’re not using, especially if you’re going out of town.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do fire escape ladders work?

Yes. Fire escape ladders work, especially when deployed properly. They can help you and your family safely evacuate your home during your fire and climb down to safety without breaking a leg or otherwise injuring yourself.

Should I practice using my fire escape ladder?

It depends. Most fire escape ladders are single-use, meaning that you can’t refold them once they’re deployed. However, some fire escape ladders come with a storage bag, which is usually an indication that they’re reusable. For these types of ladders, we do recommend practicing.

Should I have a fire escape ladder if I live in an apartment or condo?

Yes. In fact, it may be even more important to have one in these situations. Shared walls increase the chances of fires, as there are more people, and you can’t control what they’re doing. As long as you live on at least the second story, we advise investing in a fire escape ladder.

Can I attach a fire escape ladder to siding or gutters?

No. Fire escape ladders are specifically designed to secure to your windows. Don’t attempt to hook a fire escape ladder to your walls, siding, gutters, or other components that can’t support its weight.

How many fire escape ladders should I have?

We recommend having a ladder in each bedroom or guest room that’s on the second floor or higher. That way, individuals don’t have to leave their room to find a ladder, as this could lead to them coming face to face with the fire.


Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.