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Video:Use an Extension Ladder

with Alex Nice

Using an extension ladder seems pretty easy but it can be difficult and lead to serious injuries. Learn how to safely use an extension ladder with this helpful video.See Transcript

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Transcript:Use an Extension Ladder

Hi I'm Alex Nice and this is About.com. Using an extension ladder seems pretty easy but it can be difficult and lead to serious injuries. Today I am going to show you how to safely use an extension ladder.

Even if you are a fit person, using an extension ladder can be physically difficult. So you may want to get some help. Today as usual, I'm working solo. Pick up the ladder while on its side using a wide grip to keep its balance. Lean it up against your hip keeping the ladder out in front of you and walking to where you need to go.

Lift Ladder Slowly

Now you are going to lay the ladder on the ground, you're going to butt the feet of the ladder up against the wall and then you're going to lift the ladder slowly using the rungs, hand over hand style. As you approach the middle rung the ladder's weight will start working against you.

Just stay focused and strong and keep raising that ladder up, putting a little more pressure against the wall on the feet of the ladder. You can change your grip gripping the ladder on the sides and pull the legs out away from the wall slowly.

Place Extension Ladder at a Safe Angle

The distance from the between the feet of the ladder and the wall should be about a fifth as height you're climbing to. So if you are going up a 30-foot ladder you want to have the feet of your ladder six feet away from the wall. That's the angle you want to safely climb. You want to make sure the feet of the ladder are resting straight and level on the ground.

Now that you have your safe angle, you want to put your foot on the bottom rung of that ladder grab a hold of your rope and pull the ladder up to the point that you want it. There are two metal catches that catch the rung of the ladder, holding the two ladder pieces in place. Now get the ladder a good tug and grip, make sure the catches are secure and the ladder is level and straight.

Use Three Contact Points when Climbing a Ladder

When you climb the ladder, you're climbing the rungs. You want three points of contact on those rungs at any given time. Two feet, one hand. Now that you're at the top of the ladder, you can do your work. Just be careful and don't over-reach. You might imbalance the ladder and fall. You don't want to fall.

Now whether you're climbing up or down a ladder you should always be facing the wall. Just remember, climbing down the ladder, the same safety rules apply. For more information, go to About.com and I'll see you next time.

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