How to Safely use an Extension Ladder

Follow these three steps for a safe trip up (and down) an extension ladder.

1. Establish a solid footing- Feet should be on a firm level surface. Placing a ladder on a slanted surface can result in the ladder sliding out as you ascend.
 Look for a flat area such as a patio or driveway. Sweep away gravel or loose dirt. If you are setting up your ladder in dirt, be sure that the soil is packed and there are no hollow areas beneath. Never place a ladder on a rug. The rug will begin to slide as you move up the ladder.

2. Establish a safe angle-A good rule to establish a safe angle is to stand with your toes touching the feet of the ladder. Stand tall and reach out your arms. At shoulder height you should be able to grasp a rung at arms length. A ladder that is set too close to the wall is in danger of falling backward as you ascend. A ladder that is set at too much angle is at risk of slipping out at the feet as you ascend.

3.Maintain three points of contact-Hands and feet should be in contact with the rungs. Do not try and carry tools while climbing. Use a tool belt to hold tools and equipment. Only one person should be on the ladder.

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