DIY Fire Escape Ladder – Give a gift you hope they never have to use!
This is a re-post from our archives. This ladder can be made in a few hours and is perfect for last minute giving. So give the gift of safety to those you love.
A fire escape ladder is essential to every home, yet most people just plan on using their stairs or jumping off a roof. So if you want to give a meaningful gift, make someone a fire escape ladder. It’s way cheaper than the store bought versions. This ladder is stored under the bed and uses the weight of the bed to hold the ladder when in use.
Gather Your Supplies
- 2 x 4 (8-12’in length)
- 50’ of medium to heavy duty rope (the weight load will be written on the package and should be enough to cover the weight on the 2 heaviest people in the house combined) if the house has vaulted ceilings or is raised off the ground you may want to use a longer rope and make more rungs.
- Spray paint (optional)
- Non-slip Tread stickers (optional)
- Drill and appropriate bit for rope size
- Saw (hand or power)
Step 1: Cut your wood into 1’or 1 ½’ lengths. You’ll need about 8 rungs so use 8’ of wood for 1’ rungs and 1 ½’ wide rungs needs 12 ’of wood).
Step 2: Drill holes 1 1/2” from each side of the rung
Step 3: (optional) If you want to paint your rungs do so now, same with the tread stickers (after the paint dries obviously). I apologize that my sample isn’t’t painted I wanted to make mine fireman yellow but it has been pouring (literally) rain here and it would ruin my paint job, plus my wood’s still drying. I love the Pacific Northwest!
- Measure 12 ft from the fold and mark
Step 4: Fold rope in half and spread out on the floor
Step 5: Measure 10-12′ from the fold and mark both sides of your rope (it depends on how many rungs you want to have on the ladder and how much space is between the bed and the window)
Step 6: Tie a square knot at each mark
Step 7: Thread rope through the holes on the first rung
Step 8: Tie a square knot snug against the bottom of the first rung on both sides
Step 9: Measure from the top knot 12” down and tie a knot
- Measure 12 inches from the rung and tie a knot
Step 10: Repeat steps 6-9 for each rung until you’re out of room. Don’t panic if you have a rung left over, the knots can eat up more rope than you think.
Step 11: Save and print the following image to keep with the ladder. These are the instructions. Who said instructions had to be ugly? I recommend laminating the instructions for greater longevity (especially if this is likely to go in a kids room).
Step 12: Roll up your finished ladder and tie your laminated instructions onto the ladder with some nice ribbon.
- Put the finishing touches on your emergency escape ladder.
Feel free to print our special gift label to go with your special gift. (Just right click and save image then print with the instructions)
Now pat yourself on the back and go eat some Christmas treats, you’ve earned it.