How to Build a Fire Escape

Escaping from a burning building is never going to be an easy task, even more so if you’re not on ground level, so building your own fire escape could be a life saver for loved ones, and gives great peace of mind that you’re more protected than just relying on a fire alarm.

Making your own fire escape from lengths of rope and pieces of timber is very easy to do, although a little time consuming, and makes a great home DIY project. The fire escape requires a window that can be fully opened on a vertical hinge.

Begin by measuring the height of the drop the fire escape needs to cover, then double this length, to take into consideration the knots that need to be tied. You’ll need two lengths of half inch three strand rope, one for each side of your ladder. Avoid rope that can melt, natural fiber rope like manila or sisal is best.

Next you’ll need some 1×4 timber, a single piece that is four to six inches wider than the open window, and enough to cut 18″ wide steps that will be spaced about 12″ apart on the rope.

Drill half inch holes into the center of the timber about one and a half inches from each end. Begin at the bottom of the fire escape by tying a double knot in the rope, then feeding the rope thru the first step. Ten inches up tie another knot, then feed the rope thru the next step, and keep going till the fire escape is long enough to reach the window sill.

The final step will be the longest piece of timber, and if all is done correctly it should be possible to hang the fire escape from the window and test. To finish, just roll it up and store under a bed.

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