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Friday, April 1, 2011

How To Test the Strength of Your Attic Ladder

attic or loft ladderAttic Ladders are a great convenience to the homeowner. They are so convenient that its just a matter of pulling on the draw string and pulling it down for use. Most of them are in 2 forms, fold out and extended.

If they are constructed well, they provide years of safe service for the homeowner. However over time, from the constant heating and cooling, with humid and dry conditions, causing contracting and expanding, they can become corroded. Its construction can become loose and flimsy making the attic ladder very unsafe.

NFPA knows best

I would like to give you some ways to test the strength of your attic ladder in this article. I can't think of any better place to find the info for testing your attic ladder than the NFPA. (National Fire Protection Association)

If its good enough for the NFPA, then its good enough for you and me. Firemen probably use ladders more than anybody, except for maybe construction workers. We can adapt some of their quality safety standards for use in our own homes for maximum safety.

I will only be giving some important points from that list. You will be able to see how you can adapt them to your circumstance with your attic ladder in your home. These testing strategies will be gleaned from the NFPA's Ground Ladder Inspection and Maintenance. To see them all - go here.

Most attic ladders come in 2 types of construction. Wood and aluminum. Rarely would you see them in fiberglass. So let's have a look at the ways to adapt and test the strength of our attic ladder from the best source of all - the NFPA:

Check and test -

  • All rungs, for snugness and tightness
  • All bolts and rivets, for tightness; bolts on wood ladders, for snugness and tightness without crushing the wood
  • Welds, for any cracks or apparent defects
  • Beams and rungs, for cracks, splintering, breaks, gouges, checks, wavy conditions, or deformation
  • Rungs, for punctures, wavy conditions, worn serrations, or deformation
  • Surface corrosion
  • Labels present and legible
  • Ladders clean with no buildup of grease, dirt, or grime on the beams
  • Gouges and Dents
Remember these are just some of what a fireman goes through to maintain their ladder safety and for those they rescue. You gain a whole new respect for your Fire Department when you see what they do in this capacity. And they do this on a regular basis.
attic ladder
Do we need to test our attic ladders on a regular basis like a Fire Department? Well, probably not like their regimen. But I would say at least twice a year. Particularly if you use yours on a regular basis.


Folks, it doesn't take a long time to be safe and check these things. Especially in your home and primarily for your other family members. Just know that the probability goes way up every time you get on a ladder to get bodily injured.

Take a moment for your betterment. Adapt these tips to your attic ladder and all your ladders for that matter. Remember, if its good enough for the Fire Department, then it's good enough for you and me to.

Thanks for coming by...


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