This is the time of year for home improvement projects as well as seasonal chores. Many of these projects include the use of an extension ladder, which can make the job easier – but, can also make the work more dangerous.
Always make absolutely certain that there are no wires, power lines, tree limbs or other obstructions in the ladder’s path as you raise or lower it.
Make certain that your ladder is securely anchored at the base and against a stable surface at the top before you begin climbing it.
Never reach way out to one side or the other to avoid having to move your ladder to a new position – remember the law of physics that states: objects in motion tend to remain in motion – and, once a ladder begins to tip over it’s very difficult to get it and you, stopped from falling.
When buying an extension ladder, subtract three feet (one meter) from the listed length to get the actual working length. Also, check the strength rating on the ladder to make certain it’s strong enough to hold your weight plus the tools and materials you’ll be using.
Estimate the working height you will need the ladder to be. Lay the ladder flat on the ground, with the base or feet against your home’s foundation or other stationary object. Extend the ladder to the working height you’ll need, making certain that the slide locks catch securely at the height.
To lift it to a working position, lift the ladder from the top end then walk forward, gripping a rung closer to the base with each step. Make sure the base is solidly supported to prevent dangerous tipping or loss of control. Once the top of the ladder is resting against your home’s wall, carefully raise the base and move it one-quarter of the ladder’s length away from the wall.
For extra safety, always climb up the ladder empty-handed for the first time to test it for stability and reach.