Thursday, March 14, 2013

How to Use Ladder Safely


Leslie: Well, if you're heading out to fix the house up high, stable ladder should be. But in addition to have a ladder, you really need to understand how to use them properly, to ensure that gravity will not get the best of you.

Tom: Well, it's true. Ladder falls send hundreds of people to the emergency room every year and some fall even fatal. Joining us now with both up and down stairs safety Tom Silva, general contractor of this TV Old House.

And Tom, I have to tell you, as a victim of the same household to leave a trace on me from head to toe, I'm sure you know some of your own experiences.

Leslie: Oh, no.

Tom: No need for a lot of stairs to turn against you, is it?

Tom Silva: It really does not take much for a ladder to turn against you. I had a break on me once.

Tom: Yes.

Tom Silva: Yes, yes.

Tom: So, I think the most common mistake people have their settings are not correct ladder. They are too vertical, they are not quite vertical.

Leslie: This is not an actual ladder.

Tom: Yes.

Tom Silva: Yes, I would step back and say something. I think the biggest mistakes people make when buying a stairway to buy the cheapest they can find.

Tom: Right. And it was a crucial mistake.

Tom Silva: And that was a big mistake.

But yes, I know how to set the ladder is very, very important. You want to be sure of reaching the right. You want to make sure it is the correct angle: not too steep, not too shallow, I have to say?

Tom: mm-hmm. Yep.

Tom Silva: So the idea is number one, also make sure not inside-out. Some of the steps can be set differently than others and if you have a good quality ladder, you will see that the rotation crusade - the flat part.

Tom: Right.

Tom Silva: flat side, you have to stand on, it's easier on your feet.

The other thing is you want to make sure that when you set the ladder at the correct angle, some of the steps might actually be square in the side of the stairs for you ...

Tom: As the triangle.

Tom Silva: That's right. You line up, almost like a small square framing.

Tom: Right.

Tom Silva: And you set the frame of the square on the right angle so that the plumb and level. And that tells you that. If you do not have one, if you stand with your feet against the bottom of the ladder and run your hand out shoulder height, palms you should sit flat on the tread.

Tom: That's kind of a good standard.

Now, where are the stairs to see the earth is important.

Tom Silva: Right.

Tom: Now, if on the ground, a good idea to flip the pot, so to speak, under the stairs so it's really hit the ground?

Tom Silva: Yes. Yes, if you see the stairs, you'll see that it's flappers or legs. Many people leave it on flat ground. Basically you want to flip them so that the teeth will dig into the ground.

It is also important to try to level the ground. So if you have - I always carry a hammer to me, who I am.

Tom: Right.

Tom Silva: I actually have one with me right now, though.

But I actually took a hammer and I dig that piece of land, just big enough to get the bottom of the stairs in it, and make sure the building goes down stairs.

Leslie: Now, what if you're leaning your ladder against your house? I mean a lot of times, you have gutters and they really are the sturdiest structure rests.

Tom Silva: Not if they do not it's an aluminum gutter and - basically, the type of aluminum gutter brackets can make a big difference. If you have a channel spike-and-ferrule ...

Tom: Now, something like that - when you say "ferrules" some kind of tube that long nails are going through, right?

Tom Silva: Yes. And the spike and ferrules actually not allowed to be compressed to channel ladder leans against it. But if you do not see the head of the nail - panel-front gutters - you do not need to spike and ferrules and a ladder leaning against the aluminum gutters, you can actually pop Fasteners canal and compresses the canal.

So you want something that you climb the ladder. Once again, you have to be careful when you go, because you do not want to pop them. Slide the 2x4 in there against the inner edge and fascia board and will stop the ladder from the gutter press.

Tom: Some other things to note: overhead wires, of course. You can always look up to. Every once in a while, we hear about a man who was electrocuted as they do not do that.

Tom Silva: Right. You do not see electricity with aluminum ladder, by the way. Have you seen ...

Leslie: No way.

Tom: For good reason.

Tom Silva: That's right, fiberglass. Because he knows. If you hit the wire, you will be electrocuted. And also, a tree limb.

Another useful thing you want to be sure - you can also use the stand-off that actually hold the ladder away from you. So if you paint the window, stand-off on each side of the window and you can paint there. Because you do not want to be too low, the ladder should always be higher than they have to work with stairs. So if you are going on the roof, roof ladder must pass 3 or 4 feet.

Tom: And the stand-off is very useful, because they allow you to sort of work around the household. Always, if you are on the stairs and trying to do something - it happens every year when I hang holiday lights.

Tom Silva: Yes.

Tom: You get to the point where it's just almost too close behind.

Tom Silva: Yes, yes. Get you to the top, you specifically - you need to stand back and not smart.

Tom: No, not a good idea.

Tom Silva: The stand-off actually - I like the actual stand-off, I think they are great.

Leslie: Now, what about the step ladder? I think people just really excited about it because, you know, a few steps from the ground. "How dangerous is it?"

Tom Silva: This is a big, big step, yes.

Tom: Yes.

Tom Silva: Yes, it can be very dangerous.

Tom: A brave, too, when he said, "Do not step on the top step."

Tom Silva: Yeah, they said no. It is always great - really, uppercase. What do people do?

Tom: Right. Big, red letters, right?

Leslie: Which means: "Stand here."

Tom Silva: Yes. And that people think: they stood there.

Tom: Yes, exactly. Yes.

Tom Silva: I do not want to see people stand up and down or both. You must be a third and lower, because you do not have any balance, you do not need anything to hold the vehicle. You can hang the lights and think about it: you're in the air at the top of the stairs?

Tom: My favorite step ladder step ladder is one-sided. I have fiberglass siding. It is good for the father-son project.

Tom Silva: Yes, definitely.

Tom: And it's very stable.

Tom Silva: And they're not solid on both sides. There are many times when you want to get to the other side of the ladder.

Tom: Right.

Tom Silva: These steps are really good. I agree with you.

Tom: So the ladder is a great tool but you have to really be careful to ensure that gravity always remains your friend.

Tom Silva: And a good buy.

Tom: And buy a high quality. The Great advice. This Old House Tom Silva of the TV, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

Tom Silva: As always, my pleasure.

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