Permanent fire escape ladder hides under the window when not needed
While it's a good idea for people with upstairs bedrooms to have a collapsible fire escape ladder handy, quickly finding and deploying the thing could be difficult in a smoke-filled home. That's where the permanently attached Rescue Ready Retrofit is designed to come in.
Developed by Virginia-based firefighters/paramedics Brett Russell and Eric Hartsfield, the setup incorporates a ladder that is user-installed directly below a bedroom window, in place of the pre-existing wooden trim. Its anchoring cleats must be bolted to the load-bearing studs located underneath the plaster or drywall, on either side of the window.
Although there are other permanently attached fire ladders, most of them are contained within a recessed compartment that has to be professionally cut into the wall.
By contrast, once it's installed, the Rescue Ready ladder is simply covered with an included piece of molded plastic that replaces the removed wooden trim. In the event of a fire, that piece is quickly popped off, the window is opened, and the ladder is thrown out of it.
That ladder consists of 5052-aluminum rungs with an anti-slip coating, and nylon webbing. The current version of it measures about 13 ft long (4 m), meets ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) standards, and can support a weight of over 750 lb (340 kg). It's presently limited to second-floor use, although a longer version is being developed for three-story homes.
The Rescue Ready Retrofit can be ordered now via the link below, although shipping likely won't start until the end of the year– it's priced at US$179. You can see it in use, in the following video.
Source: Rescue Ready