When an injury happens within the home, there’s a good chance that a ladder was involved. Ladder-related injuries account for a huge number of accidents. Most of these injuries can be attributed to human error rather than a malfunctioning ladder.
But even so, it is essential to find the safest option possible when searching for aluminum ladder company to purchase your next ladder. There are tons of reasons to have a ladder handy at home, but don’t settle for a cheap ladder just because you don’t plan on using it frequently.
Before purchasing, follow this ladder buying guide to ensure that your ladder has the right features and follows proper safety considerations.
Think About the Ladder’s Purpose
The very first thing you should think about when purchasing a new ladder is what its overall purpose will be. Is it for cleaning out the gutters? Or changing light bulbs throughout the home? If you don’t buy the right ladder for the job, you aren’t just making it harder on yourself to complete ladder-related tasks, but you could also be creating an unsafe (and unavoidable) situation for yourself.
After you’ve determined the ladder’s purpose you’ll be able to choose the right ladder design and height for the job at hand. If you have multiple goals for the ladder, try to find one that is labeled as multiuse.
Don’t Be Afraid to Test it Out
If you’re purchasing a ladder from a retail store, testing it in the store might be frowned upon. However, you have every right to give it a test run before loading it up in the trunk of your car. For a stepladder, climb to at least the third rung and shift your weight around to check the sturdiness.
Always ask about the return policy; chances are you won’t get a true feel for how the ladder actually performs until you’re using it on a home project, so learning about the return policy is an important step.
Consider Every Safety Possible Safety Concern
According to the American Ladder Association, the majority of ladder injuries can be attributed to misuse and human error. However, there are still incidences when accidents happen due to poor design from the manufacturer. Consumer Reports has done extensive research on ladder design, here’s what they found out about ladders and poor design:
“Steps on some 6-foot stepladders—the most popular type—bent under a higher-weight version of the industry’s step-strength test we used to account for the stresses of climbing and weight-shifting. And we found that even the most stable stepladders twisted enough for their feet to ‘walk’ slightly when we stood on them and simulated the weight shifting typical when painting or sanding…”
Other Important Ladder Features to Considers
Once you’ve decided on the type and found a company with top-notch safety records, you can think about more specific features. The first consideration is the ladder material; most home ladders are made from aluminum since they are sturdy yet lightweight. You must also think about things like size and weight rating before making your purchase.