‘Tis the season to deck our boughs, mantles, and rooftops with festive, seasonal decorations and Christmas lights. With good intentions, you fill up your arms with Christmas lights, garland, and extension cords, trying to quickly scale a ladder so you’re not late for a holiday gathering. However, by not following proper ladder safety measures, you’ll suddenly hear yourself exclaim, “Ho! Ho! Oh…. noooo!”
If you want to stay safe this holiday season, here are some useful tips and reminders for ladder safety, as provided by the National Safety Council.
Choose the Right Ladder for the Job
If you know that you’ll be trimming the top of the tree, it doesn’t call for your massive outdoor ladder. Likewise, if you’ll be hanging lights from the outside of your house, don’t pick a ladder that is too small. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for reaching beyond your ladder’s height limit, and risking a serious fall.
Create a Solid Foundation
A ladder can easily become unstable if it’s not placed on firm, level ground. Here are some tips to create a solid foundation:
- Never place a ladder on a slippery surface.
- Leaning the closed ladder on a window pane or bumpy exterior surface may seem convenient, but is a serious safety risk. The surface should be smooth and stable.
- Securely fasten ladders to an upper support to increase its stability.
- Watch doorways or entrances when placing the ladder to make sure no one can accidentally knock you off balance.
- Under no circumstances should you use a box or another large object to help you gain height while on a ladder. If this is the case, choose another ladder height that is better suited for your job.
Even if you climb ladders often, you should still be cognizant of ladder-climbing safety while holiday decorating. This includes:
- Remember the 3 point rule of contact: you should have 3 places of contact between your hands and your feet while on the ladder at all times.
- Don’t stand higher than the 3rd rung from the top.
- Extension ladders should reach 3 feet higher than the place you’re trying to reach.
- Use a tool belt and wear slip-resistant shoes.
- Do not use a ladder if the outdoor conditions are dangerous and could precipitate a slip or fall.
You can still be “Santa’s little helper” when it comes to decorating during the holiday season, but make sure you’re doing it safely. In case of accidents, remember the ER on Soncy is open 24/7/365.