Safety with any piece of house-hold tool or equipment is of utmost importance today by leading manufacturers and consumers alike. If you have an attic or loft in your home that you access via a loft ladder, you can avoid some of the most common mistakes easily by just following usage guidelines, while other safety tips are simply common sense; like for instance, keeping up with maintenance or avoiding the urge to run up and down the stairs carelessly – especially with sharp objects in your hands (yikes!).
There are tens of thousands of accidents per year caused by all types of loft and attic ladders word-wide. Many of these accidents are simply having a poor loft ladder installation. If you’re a DIY kind of person than most of the issues revolve around either not reading installation guidelines thoroughly or not reading them at all! If you have hired a certified professional to install it then be sure to look it over completely yourself and test every single component of it before letting him or her leave the premises.
Common sense, although not very common, has got to be the most important factor for using your loft ladder in a safe manner. Things like not carrying too much up the stairs at a time and not sprinting down the stairs is going to drastically decrease the amount of slipping that is going to occur, which almost always results in very serious injury or even death. Avoiding these mistakes is so easy that I wonder why so many people injure themselves this way.
Maintenance is likely to be a huge factor when using any type of equipment that has movable parts. This is especially true if you have a folding loft ladder installed in your home. These types are most commonly used to reach attic space and are made out of wood that have metal hinges which allow the ladder to fold into itself. The most important maintenance factor is, a) keeping your hinge bolts tightly secured into place – which should be checked every few months and, b) check for any damaged pieces of wood or parts that are starting to diminish and replace them if necessary. If the ladder is still under warranty than you should call the manufacturer for a complete replacement or have a technician come to fix what is broken.
Let me restate the fact that one should always, always check the maximum weight capacity of your particular loft ladder. Some can hold up to as much as 300 lbs of weight and others have a much lower weight capacity. Now, you may be thinking, “who would ever want to – or even be able to carry, for that matter – a 300 lb item up attic stairs?”, but you have to keep in mind that it is not just the equipment you are carrying up! It is a combined weight of both the item and your own body weight. I suppose this should be included as common sense but let me restate that common sense is just not so common these days.
Make sure you read your entire usage guidelines that came with your loft ladder kit and remember that a little bit of common sense can go a long way. If you have someone else install the ladder for you, be sure to ask them for safety tips as well. Sometimes these guys can have more tricks up their sleeve than you can imagine simply because that is what they do; they install them for a living and unless they are a rookie, they will most definitely have some very good tips for you depending on the style that you have purchased for your home.