“The most wonderful time of the year” sadly also is a time when thousands of people end up in the emergency room for injuries suffered during holiday decorating. So, what’s the safest way to use a ladder to put up your holiday displays? Here are four tips from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:
Set up the ladder on a firm, level surface.
Watch for soft, muddy spots or uneven flooring, and never place a ladder on ground that is uneven.
Remember the 1-to-4 rule.
You may have to hark back to long-ago geometry class for this visual, but the bottom of the ladder should be one foot away from a wall or the side of the house for every four feet that the ladder rises.
Don’t rock the ladder.
When you are getting those decorations out of the garage or a closet, be careful about pushing or pulling anything from shelves while standing on a ladder. You could lose your balance and fall off.
Choose the right ladder for the job.
When working at low and medium heights, choose step stools or utility ladders. Extension ladders are ideal for use outdoors to reach high places, as when hanging holiday lights on a rooftop.