The holidays are fast approaching and for many of us decorating our homes is a yearly tradition.
Whether you are planning on installing just a few lights and decorations or if you are going to do a full out Griswald, your decorating duties will probably include the use of a ladder.
Unfortunately the holiday’s is also a time where injuries related to people falling off ladders increases significantly. While there are many types, sizes and styles of ladders available, today I am going to share some safety guidelines when using an extension ladder.
1.) Know your surroundings. Before you even begin check around for any dangers. Overhead power lines, uneven ground, doors that may open out etc… Make sure wherever you plan on setting up the ladder that it is safe.
2.) Choose the right ladder for the job. Make sure it is tall enough; you want at least three rungs to extend past the upper contact point. There should never be a need to step on the top rungs.
3.) Ensure that it is properly rated for your weight and that all parts of the ladder are working properly and are firmly secured. Ladders with loose or missing parts or that lean to one side or the other should not be used.
4.) Position the ladder on firm flat surfaces and ensure that the bottom or top will not slide. For extra protection use bungee cord wrapped around the top of the ladder and secure it to the gutters.
5.) Before climbing a ladder, confirm you have the proper angle. Position the base one foot away from the wall for every 4 feet of height, set your feet so that your toes are against the base of the ladder, stretch out your arms and make sure your palms are able to touch the rungs .If not reposition the ladder until this can be achieved.
6.) When climbing or descending always use the three point contact rule. This is where you have both feet and one hand, or both hands and one foot always in contact with the ladder. Three out of four are always in contact with the ladder.
7.) Do not extend or over reach. Never reach past a foot, over extending makes you and the ladder unstable. Climb back down and reposition the ladder so you are working comfortably.
8.) Wear appropriate slip resistant footwear and consider using a tool belt or bucket to carry any tools, screws, clips, bulbs etc.
9.) Never have more than one person on the ladder at any time, And if at anytime time you feel dizzy or light headed, collect yourself and slowly descend to the ground.
10.) Do not use in bad weather. High winds and rain is not the time to tackle your decorating. Don’t jeopardize yourself even more, wait for better weather.
Employing these guidelines and using a little common sense will greatly decrease your chance of falling from a ladder and that is something you and your family will be glad you did.
Blue Owl Inspections wishes everyone to have a safe and happy holiday.
Blue Owl Inspections provides Professional Reliable Home Inspection Services throughout the Lower Mainland.
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