Our 5 most frequently asked questions about extension ladders
Whatever type of task you’re tackling, it’s always important to make sure you’ve got the right equipment for the job at hand. That’s where we can help - at Browns Ladders, our extension ladders are designed to help you tackle any job, whether you’re on site or at home. If you’ve ever got any questions about the use of your ladders though - don’t hesitate to ask us. We’ve got over 70 years experience supplying quality products to local tradesmen, and we’re always happy to help! If you just need some quick answers now, we’ve saved you a bit of time by collecting 5 of the most common questions we often hear from our customers about our extension ladders.
Is it safe to drive with an extension ladder strapped to the roof?
The simple answer is yes - but there are still some things to consider. To begin with, always make sure your ladder is securely fitted to the roof before you set off. You can do this by using things like straps or bungee cord, but the most reliable way without a doubt is to use ladder clamps (which can also be used with padlocks for extra security). Once everything is strapped down and secure, it’s worth going for a test drive, just to make sure your ladder isn’t going anywhere.
If you find that the top or bottom of your ladder protrudes too far over the top or rear of your vehicle, you're required by law to put some kind of high-vis covering over it as a safety precaution, to ensure that other road users can see it clearly. Something as simple as a high-vis vest will do the job.
How do I stop my extension ladder from slipping during use?
The most efficient way of avoiding this problem is to secure your ladder at the top using a ladder stand-off (essentially, a piece which positions the extension ladder away from the wall, making access for guttering and window maintenance safe). Alternatively, if you’re working as part of a team, you could ask someone to act as a ‘foot’, physically securing the ladder in place while you climb it by standing on the bottom step.
We’d always advise against leaning from too far out to either side while on a ladder, as this can de-centralise your weight distribution, and increase the chance of it slipping from underneath you. Some people have differing definitions of how far is too far - so basically, keeping your hips within the guard-rails at all times will minimise the risk.
What are fibreglass steps for?
Fibreglass ladders are basically designed to be used by any professional whose work involves electricity. A lot of ladders are made from conductive metals like aluminium - fibreglass is an insulator that can withstand up to 25-30,000 vaults, so it’s ideal for those areas with a potential spark risk from electrical conduction. It’s also flame resistant, and won’t weaken in heat.
On the other hand, aluminium ladders offer a slightly better strength-to-weight ratio, making them a bit easier to transport and store. Really, it all depends on what you’re looking for!
Can I still use my Class 1 ladder?
A revised set of EN131 ladder standards were released to the European market in January 2018. The changes were brought in to address the stability of ladders, with ‘EN131 Professional’ ladders intended for use within the workplace, and ‘EN131 Non-Professional’ intended for domestic use.
Standard Class 1 ladders are still fine to use, so long as they’re free from any damage, and still able to function properly. If however, your Class 1 ladder has seen better days, it’s probably time it was replaced with the new EN131 Professional Class ladders - which is where we come in.
Here at Browns Ladders, we’re one of the UK’s leading ladder retailers. We supply lightweight, sturdy ladders to all the best local tradesmen, and our in-house experts are more than happy to advise you on the correct equipment for your job. Whether you’re on site or at home, we’ll help you get the job done!