Continuing with our FAQs for some of our major products, this week we’re putting a spotlight on loft ladders. This type of ladder is amongst our core product range, so you can count on our staff to know what we’re talking about! This week, we’re sharing some of that expertise with you, so that you can choose a ladder that suits you while confident in the knowledge that you’re using it safely at all times.
Here are the questions we’ll cover in this FAQ:
- What information should I have before I buy a loft ladder?
- What are the main things to consider when buying a loft ladder?
- What type of loft ladder should I buy?
- How can I make sure I’m using my loft ladder safely?
- Quick loft ladder inspection checklist
- What legislation affects loft ladders?
What Information Should I Have Before I Buy A Loft Ladder?
The main thing to make sure of is that the loft ladder you buy fits the size of the hatch you intend to fix it to. To do this, you’ll need to measure the exact dimensions of the existing opening, and double-check these measurements in the detailed information of each loft ladder you look at.
Another key thing you’ll often need to take into account is pivoting height – in other words, the space the ladder will need when it’s folding or unfolding. (This is generally about 1.1m above the loft floor)
What Are The Main Things To Consider When Buying A Loft Ladder?
When the time comes to buy a loft ladder, the four main things to consider are:
- The opening mechanism (for example, sliding, telescopic or concertina)
- The type of material the ladder is made from
- The relative strength of the ladder
- How often you’ll be using it
What Type Of Loft Ladder Should I Buy?
Depending on your circumstances and budget, you mind find that a certain type of loft ladder suits you better than others. We’ve listed each type below, as well as its relative advantages:
Advantages of Wooden Loft Ladders:
- The classic choice
- Traditional look and cosy feel
- Often sturdier than other variants
- Quiet and smooth to use
- Physically warmer when climbing
Advantages of Aluminium Loft Ladders
- Lightweight and convenient
- Safe and easy to use
- Easy to install
- Ideal for those on a budget
Advantages of Telescopic Loft Ladders
- Compact nature makes them perfect for small, tight spaces
- Combines convenience with a great look in a minimalist design
- Easy to install (even for novices)
- Hardy construction
- Simple to use
How Can I Make Sure I’m Using My Loft Ladder Safely?
At Browns Ladders, safety always has been and always will be one of our top priorities. Our top tips for the safe use of loft ladders are:
- Follow all provided manufacturer instructions.
- Always be aware of the loft ladder’s maximum load (generally 100kg).
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help passing items up and down from the loft.
- Take your time! Rushing is a key cause of accidents.
- Keep your loft ladder well maintained and lubricate major components regularly, at least once every few uses.
- Never use a loft ladder that shows even the slightest signs of wear or damage
Quick Loft Ladder Inspection Checklist
Before you use your loft ladder, you should always:
- Check for damaged, loose or missing components
- Ensure there are no sharp or rusty edges
- Check the ladder feet for wear or damage
- Ensure that the ladder rungs are dry, and free from dirt or grease
- Check timber ladders for any rot, cracks or insect infestations
- Replace your ladder if it shows any signs of serious damage or defect
What Legislation Are Loft Ladders Affected By?
The main legislation that governs the standard of loft ladders is the European standard of EN14975. The legislation is exhaustive so we won’t list it in its full detail here, but some of the key aspects it concerns are:
- The loft ladder’s tolerances and minimum weight capacity (150kg)
- The angle of the ladder (61 degrees when deployed, to prevent it from becoming too steep)
- The potential of the rungs to bend under pressure
- The width between the stiles or handrails
- Its descent control (to prevent it from injuring someone by extending too quickly)
At Browns Ladders, we have a wide range of aluminium, timber and telescopic loft ladders to suit a variety of needs and tastes. You can browse our full selection of loft ladders here, or call our sales line on 01282 615517 to place an order.
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