home safety - tips for using a ladder at homeIt’s that time of year where we dust off the ladder to put up or take down the Christmas decorations.

Have fun putting up your decorations, but stay safe!

See our safety tips for using a ladder at home.



Your ladder needs to be tall enough for you to easily reach the area you want to work on. If you are straining to reach an area it’s too short. A ladder needs to be approximately one meter above a landing. (i.e. roof).


Ensure it is in good condition, with no bent or damaged rungs or stiles and that any locking stays work effectively. Make sure there is no mud, oil, or debris that may cause you to slip while using your ladder.


When using a stepladder, make sure that it is fully open, and both stay bars are locked into place. Don’t place it on tables, boxes etc to lift it off the ground. If you are using a taller ladder, remember the 4 to 1 rule: for every four metres of height, the ladder should be 1 metre out at the base. If you need to climb up onto a roof, extend the top of your ladder approximately one meter above the landing and tie it off at the top to prevent it slipping. If you cannot tie the bottom off have someone foot the ladder. Set up on firm, level ground.


Always maintain three points of contact when climbing up or down the ladder. This means that at all times you have two feet and one hand, or two hands and one foot in contact with the ladder. Never stand on the top rung of the ladder. Tools and equipment must be carried in a belt or passed or lifted up once the ladder is secure, and you are in position. Wear flat non-slip shoes to avoid slipping on the rungs. If you have to reach too far overhead or to the side, move the ladder; as leaning could make you lose your balance.

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