How to Make a Single Rope Emergency Ladder

Written by richard brown
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When it comes to personal safety, there are some things you can do around your home to be prepared in the event of a fire. If you are located on an upper floor of a home or apartment building, you may need an emergency ladder to escape out the window. While there are several emergency ladders on the market, you can make your own emergency ladder to store under your bed.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Skein of yarn
  • High strength synthetic rope
  • 1-by-4-inch boards (about 8 inches long)
  • Drill

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  1. 1

    Determine the length of the rope needed. Hold the end of the yarn and drop the skein out the window to a friend. Have the friend cut the yarn at the ground. On the ground, measure the length of the yarn, then add 4 feet to the measurement. For example, if the yarn measured 10 feet, the total rope needed would be 14 feet.

  2. 2

    Purchase a high-quality synthetic rope, such as braided nylon, that is capable of holding at least 272 Kilogram. The rope capacity is always indicated on the packaging, so read carefully to make sure you are getting rope that is strong enough to be used as an emergency ladder. Of course, make sure the length is greater than or equal to the measurement you need.

  3. 3

    Drill holes in the 1 -by-4s, right in the centre so that the hole is about 1/4 inch in diameter. You'll need enough wood pieces to act as rungs placed every 3 feet along the rope. For a 14-foot emergency ladder, you would use 4 pieces of wood.

  4. 4

    Thread one end of the rope through the first wooden piece and move it along until it is about 3 feet from the end. Tie a knot just above and just below the wooden piece, securing it in place on the rope. Repeat with the other wooden pieces, knotting just above and below. The wood pieces should be about 3 feet apart.

  5. 5

    Prepare to anchor the rope ladder. For temporary anchorage, attach an S-type adjustable rope anchor to one end of the rope. When the ladder is ready to be used, simply hook the anchor to the window sill.

Tips and warnings

  • Store the rope ladder near the window so when an emergency arises, you don't have to search for it.
  • Teach everyone in the house how to find and deploy the rope ladder.
  • Escape ladders must be reliable to provide a safe escape route. Regularly check all parts of the rope ladder for loose knots, split rungs or unsecured rope anchor.

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