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Frequently Asked Questions

GrateLift and WellEscape Ladder System

Will the GrateLift work with non-metal window-well covers?
The GrateLift lifter was designed to work with metal window-well grates due to their relatively heavy weight compared to non-metal window-well covers. However, if you have a heavy non-metal window-well cover, you may need to obtain additional fittings in order to attach the GrateLift to the cover.

What is the maximum weight for a metal grate used with the GrateLift lifter?
The GrateLift system can work with any metal grate. For grates heavier than 60 lbs, you may want to install two GrateLift lifts, one on each side of the metal grate. In such installations, only one handle need be operated (due to the spring assist on both of the lifts) to safely and quickly raise the grate from inside the window well, and the grate will still be able to be easily lifted from outside the window well.

Do I need both the GrateLift and a WellEscape Ladder System?
Your window well should have a ladder for egress; if not, you should purchase a WellEscape ladder. If the window-well cover is metal and heavy, you should purchase a GrateLift. If you would like to do both, you may consider purchasing the lift and ladder package.

What about security... can I lock the GrateLift?
Yes, you can lock the GrateLift, but this is a double-edged sword. A locked window-well cover does in fact discourage intruders; but at the same time, it makes egress (escaping from the window well) slightly more difficult and more risky. The design goal of the GrateLift is to make it much easier to lift a heavy metal grate, whether from inside and underneath the window-well grate, or from outside and above the grate. A locked GrateLift will also hinder emergency ingress, such as may be desired by emergency personnel (fireman or other emergency responder). A locking mechanism can be purchased from by special request.

Can I select a different color?
No. The current color is light grey, and is applied to the GrateLift and the WellEscape ladder via a powder-coating method that makes the final product look better and last longer.

Can the GrateLift and WellEscape ladder system be installed by one person?
The GrateLift system can be installed by one person, but for safe installation, two people should be used. Carefully follow all of the installation instructions in proper order. One person can install the WellEscape ladder.

How long does installation take?
Most people can install the GrateLift in about 45 minutes the first time. After that, subsequent units can be installed much more quickly. The WellEscape Ladder System can be installed in about 30 minutes the first time.

How easy is it to remove the grate completely after it is attached to the GrateLift?
If the grate is to be completely removed from on top of the window well, removing the cotter pin (part #8, shown on page 4 of the GrateLift installation instructions) allows the grate to be lifted off completely. This is best done with two people, since the spring assist of the GrateLift unit cannot assist in lifting the grate once it is disconnected.

What is the minimum/maximum depth of the window well used for installing the products?
In order to operate properly, the GrateLift window-well grate lifter requires about 3 ft. of depth (it will work as long as the T-handle can swing all the way down without obstruction). The standard WellEscape Ladder System requires about three feet of depth; additional rungs can be attached as needed, enabling the products to be installed in wells as deep as 10 ft. or deeper.

Do I need a GrateLift installed on all window wells?
No... although it is a good idea to install one on each window well that is covered by a heavy metal grate. However, each window well may need either steps or a ladder, whether there is a grate on top or not. Please check local building code requirements regarding egress requirements and surface pathway protections.

What about ladders for 2nd-floor escape?
We are looking into such products, but do not currently have one for sale. Please contact us if you are looking for a 2nd-floor escape ladder.

What other products do you carry? is dedicated to finding the best products to make your home safer. Our current products (GrateLift and Well Escape ladder systems) help improve egress from basement window wells in the event of fire or other disaster. We will soon add other fire-prevention and fire-escape products such as: second-floor fire-escape systems; fire extinguishers; smoke, carbon-monoxide (CO), and radon-gas detectors; non-metal gas-valve shut-off wrenches; fire blankets; and emergency flashlights and radios. We are also considering selling security alarm systems, and portable Wi-Fi cloud-connected video-cameras systems with live feeds accessible via mobile devices. In summary, we want to provide you with products that make you safer and more comfortable, knowing that you are better prepared for dealing with emergencies, should they arise.