Why You Should Never Use Your Ladder Like This

There's nothing wrong with finding a shortcut to make your next DIY project easier...unless that shortcut breaks basic safety rules. Make sure you're not making these dangerous ladder mistakes.

The wrong way

wrong ladder useCourtesy of American Society of Home Inspectors

This window washer is making the most of a ladder that’s too short. But if his luck runs out, he’ll pay a hefty price for ignoring basic ladder safety rules. If you’re attempting a DIY project on your home, make sure you’re familiar with the tips and techniques for using an extension ladder safely.

Two basic rules for using a ladder safely are being broken in this photo. Can you figure out what they are?

The right way

Painter on a ladder uses brown paint.Johnny Habell/Shutterstock

First, work with three points of contact with the ladder at all times: Two feet and a hand or two hands and a foot. And second, never work from the top three rungs of an extension ladder. The painter shown in the second photo here is maintaining three points of contact and is standing on the fifth rung down. The wide ladder standoff provides extra stability and the support to safely reach the top of the window. Taking a cavalier approach to home improvement projects can make things dangerous when they don’t have to be, and can have devastating consequences. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Also, make sure you know the 12 home improvement projects you should never DIY.

Popular Videos

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman