Don’t Fall this Fall

With fall weather settling in and chillier temperatures ahead, plenty of homeowners will be kept busy with light home maintenance projects such as clearing leaves and debris from the gutters and hanging holiday decorations, all tasks which will more than likely require a ladder.

Ladders are generally relatively simple to operate, but that does not make them less dangerous to use according to Gina Peek, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension housing and consumer specialist – who by the way is always looking out for safety in our houses!

If you’re careless in using a ladder, it could lead to serious injury or even death.  Since most people feel they are pretty comfortable on ladders it can lead to carelessness or inattention.

Here are some quick tips:

  1. Use the right ladder for the job.  Know how high you need to reach and the weight limit are important.
  2. The base of the ladder should be placed on a solid, level surface. Never put a ladder on a box or other object to add more height.
  3. When climbing, face the ladder, grip the rungs and not the sides, and do not climb on the top step or bucket shelf.
  4. Keep three points of contact on the ladder at all times, either both hands and one foot or two feet and one hand.  As an added precaution, have someone hold the bottom of the ladder steady and guard any nearby doors that could swing open and knock the ladder off balance while it’s occupied.
  5. Only one person should be on the ladder at one time.
  6. Rather than lean or over reach, reposition the ladder as necessary.

For more information on safely using ladders, contact a county Extension office and visit the American Ladder Institute website at www.americanladderinstitute.org.

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