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janbb's avatar

What do you think of this disaster prep idea (Read details)?

Asked by janbb (61070points) 2 months ago

My bedroom on the second floor has a balcony off of it that is over a deck on the first floor. Thinking about disaster prep, I was thinking that it would be a good idea to get and attach a rope ladder that could be deployed in case of a fire or possibly even for flood egress if necessary.

Any thoughts and suggestions? (Looking at you Lucky.)

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26 Answers

Entropy's avatar

Yes. Definitely a good plan. Making sure you have fire detectors with fresh batteries everywhere they need to be is a better plan. Better to be alerted BEFORE you are trapped on the 2nd floor and have to climb down a scary rope ladder, but having a backup plan is not a bad idea.

Note: Do a dry run with the rope ladder for everyone who might need to use it to make sure they can do it without getting scared. Preferably a dry run where failure only means a short drop onto a pad.

jca2's avatar

I was thinking about the dry run/practice as well. Do that with a friend or two nearby who can guide you and offer advice as to foot placement, etc., and to help in case you almost fall or screw up.

chyna's avatar

I’m not trying to be condescending, but I don’t think a rope ladder is a good idea for you. You’ve had a broken ankle and I worry that your ankle might not be able to keep a rope ladder straight. I have this image that in a time of disaster, the rope ladder could become tangled as you are trying to speed down it.
I looked on Amazon and they have metal escape ladders that seem like they would be safer. Maybe check them out.
I do think @Luckyguy will have excellent advice.

janbb's avatar

@chyna I appreciate your concern. I’m not lame though and it’s only about 10 feet. I wouldn’t want a permanent ladder that someone could use to come into my bedroom, hence the idea of a rope ladder that could sit on the balcony and be hooked on. It is scary to contemplate but so is everything about a disaster.

jca2's avatar

If it’s only a 10 foot drop and you hung from the railing, presumably you’re about 5 feet tall, give or take, so that would only mean a 5 foot drop, yes? If you dropped from 5 feet, you’d probably not break a bone.

janbb's avatar

@jca2 Yes, in a pinch I would do that but that’s even more intimidating than a rope ladder.

jca2's avatar

Another idea you could try is to have someone construct a hinged ladder (folding hinges like a beach chair) that is folded up on the deck, attached to the railing by hinges, but in emergency, you swing it over and climb down. Might be more sturdy than a rope ladder or metal rungs on chains.

rebbel's avatar

A pole dancers’ pole is out of the question, I suppose?

janbb's avatar

Only if you come to watch @rebbel!

(Maybe I should grow my hair very, very long?)

janbb's avatar

@jca2 That’s another thought. I’ll be discussing ideas with my handyman.

canidmajor's avatar

If you can have the rope ladder against the side of the building, great. If not, there are escape ladders designed with telescoping sides that are much easier to navigate. I have used rope ladders, even in the water, if free swinging, they are awful and difficult, unless you can somehow anchor them at the bottom.

rebbel's avatar

Also a great idea!
The advantage of a pole is that it is stiff (as opposed to the flaccid ladder), and if covered in KY Jelly near impossible for a bad person to climb up.

janbb's avatar

@rebbel Oy! You’re so helpful!

rebbel's avatar

You’re welcome :-)

seawulf575's avatar

It has been a suggestion for a long time for people that have second floor bedrooms to have removable ladders that can be rolled up and stored. In the event of a fire, if there is no other way out, this ladder could be hooked over the window frame and the person could scramble down an out. Same thing you are describing.

janbb's avatar

@RayaHope Yes, I’ve been looking on Amazon at some of the options. Thanks.

RayaHope's avatar

It’s always best to be safe. It’s not safe if you’re afraid to use it. I hope you find a great solution that suits you perfectly.

janbb's avatar

^^ Exactly.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I got here late. I like the idea of the metal folding ladders. They stow in a tight neat package and deploy in a couple of seconds. They are also easy to use.
You should practice before you need it. You can consider the workout an exercise routine.

janbb's avatar

Thanks all! I will talk to my handyman and look into the metal folding ladders. That sounds like the best idea.

raum's avatar

Looks like you guys have got it covered. But thought I’d share this article with some solid recs.

Thanks for asking this question. I think I’m going to get one too!

janbb's avatar

^^ That’s great info. It looks like that X-It that they recommend is the way to go, especially since they say it is the only one that can be hung from a balcony railing which is what I will need to use.

Hopefully, I will never need to use it but I try to anticipate danger and be pro-active.

raum's avatar

@janbb I just bought one after seeing your question. Better safe, than sorry.

May you never have to use your pricey escape ladder!

janbb's avatar

I just looked for the X-Fit on Amazon and they say it is currently unavailable and don’t know when it will be in stock.

Did you order from someplace else?

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