Always use a ladder stand-off for high chores
Beautiful summer weather is helpful for many home maintenance chores. So, is a ladder stand-off!
Last week we gave you a list of chores that are ways to protect your investment – your home! Today we want to remind you to protect yourself anytime you use a ladder.
We encouraged you to wash the outside of your windows, wash or paint your house and stack your wood far from your home. However, one of things we didn’t emphasize, which we feel strongly about it, is to make sure safety is always in the foremost of your mind – especially as your chores bring you, or a loved one, up onto a ladder.
Always use a ladder stand-off
Chores that take you up on an extension ladder open you to one of the most common causes of severe fall trauma. People tend to lean out too far to one side or another, which can make the ladder slide sideways and down you go!
Before we talk about the errors at the top of the ladder, let’s start with safety tips for the bottom of the ladder. It all begins with solid, level ground for each of the ladder’s legs. Sometimes you have to modify the grade to create a safer platform. Take note: It’s better to dig into the ground and bury a leg than to build up a tippy platform!
Test the ladder from the lower rungs and then all the way up. Your spouse and neighbors would think you were brilliant if you tied the ladder off to the house, too!
An extension ladder leaning on a smooth gutter is one of the worst scenarios leading to DIY injuries and death. Again, our arms are too short to clean out gutters efficiently which makes us lean out further to the side than we should and who’s prepared when the ladder slides down the gutter? So in addition to using a tool to extend our reach, there is one tool that can prevent ladder falls altogether if you place it correctly in the first place.
A ladder stand-off device is waiting for you at your local hardware store. It’s a great gift that can be easily attached to the top of your ladder, and can be a literal lifesaver! Step ladders, especially short ones with nothing to hold onto, are just as dangerous.
Three-legged ladders are safer than four particularly on rough ground, but each leg of any ladder must be firmly embedded on hard surface. An adult helper holding onto the ladder is a good practice and so is getting the next size ladder when you really need to get up onto the last two rungs. Never, ever stand on the top rung of the ladder!
If you don’t have a ladder standoff, you can borrow one from us. (Just give us a call to make arrangements – (360) 533-7828.) In addition, Harbor Tool Rental carries proper extension ladders. They can be reached at (360) 533-6363.
Stay clear from the roof’s mast!
As long as we’re talking safety, remember the electrical mast on the roof of each house is not something to be toyed with. Whether you are repairing or cleaning the roof, washing or painting your house or even just doing some tree-trimming, be aware of that mast and the electrical wires it supports.
If you know you plan to work near the overhead electrical mast or perhaps will be trimming or falling trees that could touch it, first call the Grays Harbor Public Utility at (360) 532-4220. The service dispatcher may make the arrangements resulting in a PUD crew onsite to determine the safest approach for wires in the way.