Learn the basics of protecting your home against fire, including smoke detector types and placement, a collapsible fire escape you can build, making a household evacuation plan, and using fire extinguishers.
Collapsed, the fire escape is smaller than a downspout.
A smoke detector can provide vital early warning to protect you and your family from the perils of a home conflagration.
ILLUSTRATION: DAVID G. KLEIN
Side braces prevent the ladder from swinging side to side.
Extended by pivoting from the wall, it forms a stable ladder.
If you cannot find straight-gauge U-channel steel, try the combination of readily available parts pictured here.
Smoke alarms should be placed on each level of the house near bedrooms and stairwells. Ceiling locations are preferred, but walls are acceptable.