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Safety tips for using a ladder in the winter time

My favorite Winter scene is a neighborhood full of houses that are lit up by Christmas lights. This season offers the opportunity to make your house unique and stand out by decorating. If not properly done, you can injure yourself. Each year, more than half a million people are treated in hospital emergency rooms and doctor’s offices because of injuries sustained while improperly using a ladder.

christmas lights, ladder safety

Here are some safety tips to help protect you and whoever helps you decorate your house this holiday season:

  • Use the correct ladder – The ladder should be a proper length to safely reach the height you need to complete your work. Make sure you acquire a ladder that can handle your weight plus whatever load you may be carrying up the ladder. Each ladder is rated and the rating is used to determine the maximum weight that it can support.

  • Inspect the ladder – Before you get on the ladder, check it out for damage. Some parts may be broken or bent, which creates a safety problem. The ladder should also be properly inspected for slippery substances such as grease, mud, oil, ice or snow. A slippery surface can instantly create a safety hazard.

  • Setting up the ladder – Steer clear of setting up a ladder near hazards such as tree limbs and power lines. Proper setup of a ladder requires the bottom of the ladder to be one foot away from the wall for every four feet extended vertically (example: if the ladder extends 20 feet in the air, it should be five feet away from the wall). If you are using the ladder to get onto the roof, the ladder should extend at least three feet higher than the roof.

  • Using the ladder – Make sure the ladder is secure at the bottom and on a flat surface and make sure the top of the ladder is on a secure surface. Try to avoid having snow or other slippery surfaces on the soles of your shoes before climbing. Also, be wary of untied shoelaces or pant legs that are too long.

  • Climbing the ladder – Face the ladder and stay in the middle of the rails at all times. Always have a tight grip on the sides of the ladder while climbing. Do not lean to either side of the ladder. Only one person should be climbing the ladder at a time.

  • Other tips: keep large pets such as dogs inside or on a rope far away from the ladder. Do not use a ladder in the wind. Do not drink before or while climbing the ladder. Avoid using medication that makes you drowsy before climbing on the ladder. Never climb above the third rail from the top of a ladder.

All of these tips should keep you safe while hanging up lights this holiday season. However, if you feel uneasy about being able to do this by yourself, contact a professional at Adamstree Roofing and Construction and we can help you hang your lights or perform any work on your roof.

Avoid getting in a situation like this:

  1. It’s fun having lights up on the house but not very fun if you are not safe about it. Thanks for the reminder to keep safety first.

  2. I never thought of keeping pets away from the ladder, but they can easily knock it over and leave you stranded. Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is the time of year that everyone is climbing up on their ladders and even onto the roof to hang Christmas lights. Please exercise ladder safety while going about your holiday decorations!

  4. It’s very important, when using a ladder in any circumstances, to always use safe practices.

  5. Climbing ladders scare me. I think it was because when I was a kid I had a really, really, really good imagination. So, to this day whenever I get on a ladder I’m always more than super careful.

  6. Alissa BanksAlissa Banks12-05-2012

    My father fell of a ladder while being a roofer vancouver and there were so many medical complications! I know how it goes so please please be careful!

  7. I believe this site holds very wonderful indited content blog posts.

  8. I can’t stand to see someone walk a ladder, it is very dangerous and should never be done. Nice post!

  9. I was once on a ladder that wasn’t properly placed. Sure enough it slid off the roof, while I was on it. Luckily, I have the grace of a cat, so I was uninjured, but I sure don’t ever want to go through it again. Proper ladder placement is key to a job well done.

  10. In my line of work, I’ve seen a lot of instances of people not using ladders correctly. It’s dangerous, and potentially lethal. Please take care when using a ladder.

  11. That scene in the video is funny, but something like that in real life could seriously injure someone. Stay safe on your ladder.

  12. Safer SmokeSafer Smoke12-07-2012

    Having someone hang up your lights sounds like an amazing way to keep safe. That might be the best course of action!

  13. I’m sure the statistics for ladder injury is astonishing. Very important to keep as careful as possible!

  14. Ladder safety is very important. Especially for those who are afraid of heights! It’s nice to make sure you’re as safe as possible!

  15. Re/Max FirstRe/Max First12-10-2012

    You have to be careful using a ladder during the winter. These safety tips can help tremendously.

  16. Gordon EnergyGordon Energy12-10-2012

    Im sure many people forget to double check their ladders to make sure they are safe. Great advice. Thanks!

  17. It can be tempting to climb to that top rail to get to those hard to reach areas of the home, but it is not worth the safety risk. Good information.

  18. I also like to have someone else around when climbing a tall ladder regardless. It’s good to make sure that someone is looking out for you on the ground!

  19. Ladders can be tricky. Sometimes I forget how dangerous they can be. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  20. In our industry we promote safety on a daily basis. I like seeing blogs that help people out like this. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Many of my neighbors have their lights up now. I absolutely love this time of year.

  22. When I started reading this, I immediately thought of Clark Griswold. Thank you so much for including the clip.

  23. Very good advice to make sure all your bases are covered and you are as safe as possible! Thanks for the advice!

  24. It’s always best to use a ladder in pairs. That way, if you do get hurt you aren’t stranded.

  25. Too many people fall from ladders. These are great tips to avoid it.

  26. Climate ControlClimate Control12-19-2012

    Thanks for the tips on how to use a ladder. I know I don’t typically think of it as being dangerous and am sure others are the same.

  27. Hey I just watched Christmas Vacation last night! Perfect clip for this blog.

  28. It’s easy to slip when you are not use to being up on ladders. Great reminder be extra careful this holiday season.

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