Fireman’s Pole

This place is great! … You’ve gotta try this pole!

Ring-a ling-ding sounds the alarm. Cat up a tree at farmer pig’s farm!

The idea of the fire pole has been around for over 130 years, originating in Chicago to help fire fighters to quickly ascend from the 2nd and 3rd floors to the first floor’s horse drawn engines. It didn’t take long for the idea to spread over to children’s play grounds and tree houses alike world wide. Come on, admit to it, you once wanted to be a fire fighter one day just so you could go down that pole and ring the bell in the fire truck.

Fast Way Down, Fast Way Up!
Kids love running in loops, having as many different ways to enter and exit their tree house as possible. Fire poles provide the fastest exit to the ground below and for the older ones, with the exercise they’re going to get, the fastest up too! fireman pole from tree house

There are many methods when it comes to fire poles. Basic ones made for play-sets typically come powered coated and loop back at the top to screw directly into the railing. These come in one piece and are easy to slide on but usually don’t accommodate platforms above 7′. Custom made stainless steel and brass poles are beautiful and durable but can run you up a few grand into the red. If you’re on a reasonable budget, steel pipe is a economic alternative though they can rust and aren’t very slippery. I found using a sectional, cast aluminum flag pole works best. They’re cheap, slippery and rust proof with the only disadvantage being the pieces are not as solid as a single piece flagpole, but I can still use it with my kids. We even get a cool flag to go with it!

Fire Pole installation & safety tips
Fire poles should be placed far enough away from ledge where small children have to reach and adults feel a bit tight. Make sure the pole is perfectly plumb before poring the concrete and keep it off limits for at least 24 hours to let it fully cure. Placing mulch around the landing area will also take a lot of the ground impact and reduce and potential injuries.

Fireman’s poles are a simple and fun addition to any tree house as well as giving your kids the opportunity to imagine themselves as their favorite hero. It probably won’t be long before they’ll be telling you, “You’ve gotta try this pole!”