I went by Lowes and picked up one of the Kidde escape ladders. Yesterday I decided to give it a try and the results were not good!
Part of the problem is that my emergency escape window is at the head of the bed, which is a Sleep Number airbed, which is in a slideout. The other part of the problem is that I need to lose about 35 lbs!
First I cut a piece of 2 x 2 lumber to 24" long to prop the window open. I found that my window is VERY heavy and the prop is definitely needed! I cut cross notches in each end to make it easy to place it. Below is a photo of one end.
Now for the test! My window was stuck at first but wasn't too hard to "bump" open. I'll keep the rubber seal lubricated with talcum powder from now on. With an air bed, when you get on it with hands and knees, it sinks, so it's a very unstable "launch platform" ! I really wish Monaco had put the emergency window on the other side of the room above the storage drawers.
The prop stick worked great! I put it all the way to one side of the window so it's not in the way. With the double notches in the end I don't have to worry about getting it turned right.
The escape ladder is easy to hang in the window, and a single pull on a velcro tab releases the rungs so they drop to the ground. I first placed it in the center of the window but found that it works better for me to place it over to the left side, giving me more room to hold on to the top of the ladder while trying to get my potbelly out the window!
Folks, I have to tell you, it was TOUGH to get this old 73 year old overweight body out that window and onto that ladder! I'm sure it would have been easier if a fire had been scorching my rear end!
The hardest part was trying to get my feet on the rungs with them swinging below. Because my escape window is in the slideout, the rungs swing below with nothing to press against to brace them! Even when I got my feet on the rungs I was hanging at what seemed like a 45 degree angle with my feet and the ladder stretched under the slideout!
I have to say I was VERY relieved to get my feet on solid ground without breaking any bones! I can assure you that the next time I do that there will be EXTREME heat behind me encouraging me on!
I will be keeping the ladder and prop stick under the bed for quick access. I am installing an LED "puck" light under the bed so I am not up fumbling for the light switch in the dark.
Many of you have commented on another thread about the fact that Kidde has a warning that the ladder is for one-time use only. I assure you that it is very easy to fold back up exactly as it was before using it. The warning is just a liability thing!
Well, gotta go now, my exercise machine is waiting!