I’m always one of the last people on my cul-de-sac to put up my lights. It’s probably because I’m not a fan of climbing on the roof but it’s also because my neighbors work FAST! Surely you are thinking, well then have someone else do it. My son, who is 20, decided he was going to responsible for putting up all the lights this year. At the very end he fell off the ladder but thankfully he managed to remain in one-piece, uninjured.
But, that incident prompted me to write about ladder safety as everyone is dusting off their holiday decorations.
Always use a proper ladder or step stool when reaching high places. As tempted as it is to step on something nearby, it’s not worth the risk of falling. And, it doesn’t take a steep fall to cause a lot of damage.
Be careful when using a ladder near a doorway or blocked door. Post a sign or have someone on the lookout that can warn others you are on the ladder as well as help you to stay steady.
An extension or straight ladder should be placed a foot away from the surface it rests upon for every four feet of ladder height.
When climbing the ladder, the user should face it and grip the rings to climb, not the side rails.
Maintain three points of contact with the ladder at all times – two hands and one foot or vice versa.
Putting up lights and decorations can be a tedious chore, especially when you have to keep repositioning the ladder but it’s essential for safety reasons. Leaning too far and overreaching is a common mistake that leads to falls.
Use a slip-resistant ladder when possible and make sure you are wearing dry, slip-resistant shoes.
Try to avoid using a ladder in extreme weather conditions; it’s simply not worth risking your safety and suffering a fall.