can you put a ladder against a window

Whether you've decided to clean your windows, paint the outside of your house or clean the guttering, you might be wondering if you can put a ladder against a window to reach the right height. It might seem like the easiest route to get the job done, but putting a ladder against a window can be really dangerous. 

The short answer to the question - "can you put a ladder against a window" is no. You should never attempt to lean a ladder against a window even if you think it's secure. The force of the ladder against the glass plus the additional weight of you, your equipment, etc. can cause the glass to crack or shatter.

How can you avoid leaning your ladder against a window?

There are a few things you could try if you think you might have to lean your ladder against a window. All of these options are sure to keep you safe and prevent the glass from cracking. Remember, you should never climb your ladder unless you're 100% sure it's safe and secure.

  • Choose a longer ladder - Finding a ladder that will reach past the window and lean on the wall above will keep you safe. 
  • Use longer tools - As long as you're not doing work that involves close contact tools, you could invest in longer tools to reach over the window. This is a great option for window cleaning. 
  • Choose a tripod ladder - Tripod ladders, like step ladders, have built-in supports that will keep the ladder upright so you don't have to lean against the window.
  • Consider scaffolding - While this might seem like a bit of a drastic alternative, it can actually be very beneficial if your project is going to take longer than a few hours. Plus you won't need to go anywhere near the windows!

Possible dangers of leaning your ladder against a window

So, at this point, you might be thinking... I don't want to buy a new ladder... what's the worst that could happen?

Well, we've seen a lot of people work with a lot of different ladders so we know the kinds of injuries that can be sustained when you ignore advice and use your ladder in an unsafe manner! 

Here are a few things that could happen if you decide to lean your ladder against a window:

  • The glass could shatter at head height, causing shards of glass to hit you in the face or shower down onto you.
  • You could be jolted off the ladder if the glass pane breaks and the ladder is suddenly un-supported.
  • You might reach and grab hold of the window frame that's full of broken glass shards.

None of these things sound particularly pleasant do they, and they're sure to put you out of action for a while. We always preach ladder safety, but we're doing it for your own good - not ours!

If you're unsure which ladder is right for the job, drop us an email at sales@laddersukdirect.co.uk and our friendly team will happily assist you.

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Read More:

- Ladder Safety Tips

- Carrying Tools Up a Ladder

- How to Climb a Ladder Safely

 

can cats and dogs climb ladders

There's nothing more special than having a fluffy companion to keep you company on the dark winter days, but when it's time to get your DIY done, you don't necessarily want your pets hanging around your ankles. Not only is it a distraction when you need to be focused on the task at hand, but some furry friends can scale ladders and potentially cause themselves harm. 

Today we're going to delve into the world of cats and dogs to find out whether or not they can climb ladders. 

Can cats climb ladders?

Felines are known for their agility and balance and they LOVE to climb. We've all heard the horror stories of firemen being called out to rescue a cat that climbed too high up a tree, so it's safe to say that if a cat wanted to climb a ladder, it certainly could.

Many pet owners actually invest in climbing equipment and ladders that are designed specifically for cats to climb. Climbing is a natural part of a cat's instinct, so don't be surprised if you see cat owners creating elaborate obstacle courses high up in their homes.

Now, it's one thing having a ladder for your cat inside the house but another thing to have your pet join you on the roof while you're replacing some tiles.

Some cats are quite timid and reserved about climbing unusual objects, so they might take one look at your extension ladder and decide it's not for them. On the other hand, there are some cats who are really curious and keen to follow their owners. These cats are the ones you want to watch out for when you're working at height outside. 

Generally, if a cat can climb up somewhere, it can also get down. But be mindful if your cat does decide to join you on the roof. If you finish your jobs for the day and pack your ladder away in the shed, you might leave your little kitty stranded on the roof!

Can dogs climb ladders?

When it comes to man's best friend, you might be thinking, surely not. Surely dogs do not have the flexibility or balance to climb a ladder. Well, that's where you're wrong. There are hundreds of things that you probably thought you'd never see in your life, and if a dog climbing a ladder is one of them, then today's your lucky day.

Check out this viral video of a pitbull making his way up a precarious ladder and onto a roof. We have to admit we were holding our breaths as he got to the top, but he sure looks pleased with himself when he makes it!

Now, it's quite unlikely that your pet dog at home will be able to tackle this kind of feat, and it's not really something we'd encourage you to try either. Dogs are not really designed for vertical climbing like this, and while it is clearly possible for a dog to climb a ladder, it's also pretty dangerous. If you're carrying out DIY work home or you're working on-site it's probably best to leave your four-legged friend down on the ground.

If you're looking to get some DIY jobs done during lockdown, take a look at our wide range of ladders. Alternatively, give us a call to discuss your needs and we'll find the perfect ladder for you.

best ladder for painting ceiling

If you've decided to re-decorate your house during lockdown - bravo! Now is a great time to give your home a new lick of paint and make the place look fresh and clean.

Anyone whos ever painted a room before knows that it's fiddly, time-consuming and can be messy. What can you do to make the process easier? Well, you should start by making sure you have the best equipment. Let's be honest, the ceiling is without a doubt the trickiest place to paint in any room, so we're going to set you up with the best ladder for the job.

What to look for?

When you're looking for the perfect ladder for painting the ceiling, you want to avoid ladders that will require you to over-reach. You never want to stand on the top three rungs, so if you're finding yourself over-extending then your ladder is too short. 

Your ladder needs to be certified for your weight plus the weight of your equipment, so if you're going to be carrying a few tins of paint, brushes, rollers, trays and a cup of tea then you need to take this into account.

Let's take a closer look at the best three ladders for painting the ceiling, platform step ladders and multi purpose ladders.

Platform Step ladders

platform step ladders

Up there as one of the best ladders fr painting the ceiling is the humble platform step ladder. These ladders are ideal for painting ceilings because they come in a wide range of heights and they feature a useful platform at the top. 

When you use a platform ladder to paint your ceiling, you'll be elevated comfortably, you'll be able to reach the ceiling easily and you'll be able to pick up and put down your painting equipment as required.

Shop Platform Step Ladders >

Multi purpose ladders

Whether you need to paint a huge ceiling or the ceiling over a staircase, our multi purpose ladders are a great option. As far as ladders go, they are the most versatile option and will allow you to paint comfortably almost anywhere! 

5 way ladder and platform

Some of our multipurpose ladders, like the 5-way multi purpose ladder shown above, come with an optional platform for extra workspace. We highly recommend purchasing one of these multipurpose ladders if you're a painter and decorator by trade. It will help you to paint ceilings in every setting and will allow you to stay elevated for longer periods of time than a regular step ladder.

Shop All Multi Purpose Ladders >

 

So, there you have it the best kinds of ladders for painting the ceiling! If you have any other questions, feel free to drop us an email or give us a call on 01446 789538.

are ladders safe, ladder safety

Ladders are a pretty universal piece of equipment that every man and his dog has in the garage. Tradespeople have them, homeowners have them and (if you don't already) you should have one too!

If so many people have ladders then surely they must be safe. Right? Well, not necessarily. As with all pieces of equipment, the equipment itself might be perfectly safe, but if the person using it does so in an unsafe way, then that's where accidents and injuries occur. 

When it comes to answering the question "are my ladders safe?" you need to consider a few things. Have you inspected the ladder itself for potential faults or weaknesses? And do you have the proper training and safety procedures in place to ensure that you can use the ladder properly?

How can you check if a ladder is safe?

If you've had a ladder stored away in the garage for a while, you might be wondering how safe it is to use. This is a perfectly normal concern that can be resolved by carrying out a simple ladder inspection before you get to work. During your initial inspection you should:

  • Check that the rungs are all firmly attached and in place
  • Look for damaged parts like corroded nails
  • Identify any cracks or splits
  • Ensure that all moving parts are working

If the ladder appears to be in good working order then it's probably safe to use. However, if for any reason you suspect that something has corroded, broken or stopped working since you last used it then it might be time to order a replacement. Take a look at our ladders below:

Our Ladders >       Our Step Ladders >        Our Roof Ladders >

How to use a ladder safely

It probably comes as no surprise that the biggest cause of ladder accidents is human error - and nothing to do with ladders themselves. As we said, ladders are safe as long as they're in the right hands. Here are a few points to remember if you want to use a ladder safely:

1. Always make sure that the work you need to do has been planned properly & that all risks have been considered.

2. Do as much work as you can from the ground. You should only use the ladder when it's absolutely necessary.

3. Ensure that the area you're working in has been cleared of obstacles/debris.

4. Think about what you're wearing. Do you need extra PPE to work safely?

5. Consider what would happen in the event of an emergency. Do you have the right precautions in place to prevent an injury?

By being aware of yourself, your surroundings and the task at hand, you can make sure that your ladder is safe. Climbing up your ladder with no prior thought is bound to cause an accident, so please be mindful of proper ladder safety practices before you get to work.

So to answer your question, "are ladders safe?" - yes. Ladders are an incredibly safe piece of equipment as long as they're looked after, checked regularly and used by a competent person. 

Take a look at our other ladder safety blogs for more information:

If you have any other questions about our ladders, don't hesitate to give us a call on 01446 789538.

covid-19 testing for tradespeople

A recent announcement from the government means that rapid asymptomatic COVID-19 testing will be rolled out across all local authorities for tradespeople and key workers who cannot work from home. This is great news for tradespeople who, up until now, could have been transmitting the virus around the homes that they visited for work without even knowing.

So far, 131 local authorities have signed up to the scheme, but the government plans to rapidly expand it so that rapid asymptomatic COVID-19 tests will be available to tradespeople across the entire country.

NHS track and trace are also working closely with the government to improve workforce testing. So far, 27,000 rapid asymptomatic COVID-19 tests have been carried out for public sector workers.

What are the benefits of testing asymptomatic people?

Current evidence suggests that 1 in 3 people who have COVID-19 don't have any symptoms. This means there are thousands of people living and working among us, who don't even know that they have the virus. 

The government's new plan to make rapid testing available to tradespeople and other workers that interact with the public on a daily basis aims to curb the spread of the virus. Tradespeople who test positive for the virus (despite showing no symptoms) will be asked to self-isolate. 

While this may seem inconvenient if you're a self-employed tradesperson, it certainly is a step in the right direction in terms of protecting people in the homes you're visiting and making sure that the country's vital services can continue to operate safely. So far, asymptomatic tests have helped to identify almost 15,000 people who would never have known that they had the virus.

How do I arrange a rapid COVID-19 test?

The government haven't yet released a list of rapid COVID-19 test centres because the system is still in its early stages. That being said, if you're a tradesperson who's interested in having a rapid asymptomatic COVID-19 test, you should contact your local authority to find out where they're being carried out in your local area. They can advise you on how to book the test and where to go for it.

How does the rapid COVID-19 test work?

First, a swab is taken from your nostrils or the back of your throat. This part is similar to a standard COVID-19 test. Next, your sample is mixed with a solution and a drip is added to the test's sample well. 

The test takes 30 minutes to develop, then you should see your results as either positive, negative or inconclusive. If your test is inconclusive, you may be asked to book another one.

This new system of rapid testing is guaranteed to make working life safer for tradespeople, and we're hopeful that this will give you all a bit of normality back.

Give us a call if you're heading back to work and need to update your toolkit with a new ladder. We have some great trade discounts available if you apply for one of our trade accounts.

Sign up for a trade account >

Read More: Can Tradespeople Work During Lockdown?

Yep, you read that right - desperate times call for desperate measures and football fans will do anything to catch a glimpse of their beloved sport.

football stadium

A recent news report told how at least 10 fans of Deveronvale FC used step ladders to peer into the Princess Royal Park Stadium in Banff. A stadium that they're currently not allowed to enter due to COVID-19 restrictions.

They've been warned that this is not an acceptable way to watch the football match... (but you have to applaud their dedication).

On a separate occasion, crowds gathered with their step ladders to catch a glimpse of the Highland League matches, but critics warn that this reckless behaviour would only lead to prolonged stadium closures.

The creativity of the persistent Scottish football fans didn't end there... two people were seen aboard a cherry picker outside Pittodrie trying to watch Aberdeen's season opener against the Rangers. 

We know it's frustrating that you can't watch the football matches in person, but most clubs are streaming footage of the matches so that you can watch remotely.

So, while we don't recommend purchasing our step ladders to watch a football match, we do recommend having one on hand so you can finally get those odd jobs done during the lockdown. Then, you can put it back in the garage, relax and enjoy the match from the safety of your own home! 

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working safely at height

It's a sad fact that a lot of the accidental deaths in the workplace are directly linked to working at height. When working at height, it's absolutely vital that you have proper precautions in place to help prevent a slip or fall. The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) have a lot of great information about working at height to show you how it's done properly. We've put together this blog, with the help of the HSE Working at Height Resource, to show you how to work at height safely.

Who should work at height?

You may think that because you have a ladder and you know how to climb it that you're perfectly competent to work at height safely. The truth is, even people who work at height every day can make mistakes. So, no matter who you are, if you need to work at height it's important you follow safety guidelines laid out by Health and Safety Executive.

Before you start working

Before you even think about touching a ladder, you need to make sure that the work has been planned properly, will be supervised properly and is being carried out by someone with the correct training/experience for the job. You also need to check that you've got the right safety equipment.

Assessing the risks

We've spoken about step ladder risk assessments before, but when working at height, a risk assessment is even more important. Think about how long the task will take, how many times you'll need to do it, and the type of surface you'll be working on. If you think that there's any chance of a slip or fall, make sure you explore fall arrest equipment before making a start!

Working at height - what you should and shouldn't do:

You should:

  • Get as much work done from the ground as you can
  • Make sure extra precautions are taken if you're working near a fragile/breakable surface
  • Ensure you're wearing protective headgear in case of falling objects
  • Consider what would happen in the event of an emergency & make sure everyone on site is aware
  • Ensure the climbing space is clear & free of debris

You shouldn't:

  • Lean over or overreach while using ladders or scaffolding
  • Overload ladders - make sure you check the maximum working weight before you start!
  • Use ladders for tasks that require you to work at height for longer than 30 minutes at a time
  • Use a ladder or work at height if you aren't qualified to do so

Ladders for Working at Height

Here at Ladders UK Direct, we offer a huge selection of ladders for domestic and trade use that will allow you to work at height safely. We work with well-known suppliers to bring you some of the safest & most-loved ladders on the market. Use the buttons below to shop our ladders & scaffold towers - perfect for working at height in any location.

Ladders >     Step Ladders >     Scaffold Towers >

If you have any questions about working safely at height, you can contact the Ladders UK Direct team here - sales@laddersukdirect.co.uk.

christmas tree ladder

As much as we love to share our ladder guides and health and safety tips with you...it's the season to be jolly! So, today we're bringing you a fun and creative DIY project that all the family can get involved in. If you're sick of finding pine needles everywhere, or you're tired of the cat ripping the decorations off the tree, then this ladder Christmas tree might be a great alternative for your home!

Here at Ladders UK Direct, we love a good Christmas decoration as much as the next person, and while a ladder can certainly be helpful for hanging mistletoe, lights and putting the star on the tree - it can also become part of the decorations with a bit of creative thinking!

We're going to show you how a simple step ladder can be turned into a sparkling tree for inside (or outside) your home. This is a great way to add an extra touch of festive magic without having to fork out on multiple trees. We also love the 'rustic' look these ladder Christmas trees offer.

Light it up

Nothing screams Christmas like wrapping things in fairy lights! While you're doing your bannister, your tree and your fence outside, make sure you purchase some lights for your ladder Christmas tree too. The best ones are battery operated so they don't need a mains connection.

This gives you a lot more flexibility to choose where you want your ladder Christmas tree to go. If you get outdoor fairy lights, you can even pop your ladder Christmas tree in the garden to give everyone a festive welcome as they approach your house.

Plant pots

If you simply can't live without the green shrubbery of a Christmas tree, you might want to add some potted plants on the rungs of your step ladder to give it a more natural look. The beauty of this is that you don't have to stick to the usual pine or conifer, you can choose any plants you like. We particularly love poinsettias with their bright red, Christmas colour!

Tinsel & trimmings

To finish off your ladder Christmas tree, add a selection of tinsel and trimmings like baubles and ornaments. This will give the finished 'tree' some character and charm! All you need to do now is wait for Santa to pop by and drop the presents off.

Whether you decide to go for something bold and bright or something stripped back and minimal, we're sure your ladder Christmas tree will look great! We particularly love the way these trees look in shop fronts and outside people's homes. Will you be giving it a try this year?

What ladder should I use for my ladder Christmas tree?

Most ladder Christmas trees are created using a step ladder because they're capable of standing on their own and they echo the typical 'Christmas tree shape'. Here are a few of our step ladders that we think would make great ladder Christmas trees! 

On the left is the 720 Series Fibreglass Podium Ladder that comes in a (very appropriate) red colour. On the right is our Heavy Duty Step Ladder in a more contemporary black shade.

Don't worry, no one is expecting you to buy a step ladder just for Christmas! Once they've been stripped of their lights and tinsel, these ladders will come in handy around the house and in the garden... you can't say that about your tree can you? 

Be sure to tag us in your pictures on Facebook or Twitter if you give this festive DIY idea a go. If you have any other questions about our ladders, don't hesitate to drop us an email at sales@laddersukdirect.co.uk.

 

Working around electrical hazards is daunting for anyone. Ensuring you have the right equipment to keep you safe can put your mind at ease and help you get the job done without injury. 

For those of you who don't know, fibreglass ladders are recommended for electrical work because they're highly non-conductive, unlike aluminium or steel ladders which are highly conductive. But what does 'non-conductive' mean and how is a fibreglass ladder going to protect you against an electric shock?

A brief science lesson

Electricity always looks for the fastest route from the source to the ground, which usually means travelling through a conductive material. You may have heard the advice "don't be in a swimming pool during a thunderstorm" well this is because lightning is attracted to water because it's highly-conductive.

If you want to prevent electricity from passing through you into the ground when you're on a ladder, it's important you put something insulating as opposed to conductive between you and the ground. Aluminium and steel ladders are often conductive, so they're not the safest choice if you're working near a live wire or electrical cables. 

How do fibreglass ladders protect me?

Fibreglass ladders, however, are insulating which means electricity can't pass through them. By putting a fibreglass ladder between you and the ground, you're making sure that the quickest route to the ground is not through your body! This means that, should the worst happen, you'll be protected and shouldn't get an electric shock.

Choosing a fibreglass ladder

Here at Ladders UK Direct, we offer a wide range of fibreglass ladders to help you work around electricity safely. Whether you need a low-level step ladder, an extension ladder for extra reach or a combination for use in hallways and on stairs - we have a fibreglass ladder for you!

Fibreglass Ladders >        Fibreglass Steps >

 If you have any questions about our fibreglass ladders or how they protect against electricity, don't hesitate to call us on 01446 789538. Our team of experts are happy to help you with any queries you may have.

calculate ladder length

If you want to work safely on a ladder, it's important to purchase one that's the right length for the task at hand. While you may think you can look at a particular wall and have a sensible guess at the ladder height you need, you're never going to be 100% accurate. If you want to calculate the right ladder length, follow these steps.

Extension Ladder Length

In order to be used safely, extension ladders need to be leant up against a hard surface with a suitable pitch. If you're working on a platform like a roof, you need to make sure your ladder extends a few feet past the workspace. When calculating the right extension ladder length, it's important to take these extra few feet into account.

Here's an example to show you how to calculate the right ladder height for a 20ft wall.

To work safely, your extension ladder needs to be pitched at a ratio of 4:1. So for every 4 feet up, you need to move the ladder 1 foot out. This is known as the '1 in 4' rule.

So, if you want to work on a 20ft wall, the ladder needs to be moved 5ft out. Propping a ladder against a wall creates a right-angled triangle, with the ladder as the hypotenuse (longest side), so it's time to think back to maths class: to calculate the length of the hypotenuse, we'll need to use Pythagoras's theorem.

Ladder lenght calculation

In case you haven't brushed up on your trigonometry lately, Pythagoras's theorem states that the length of the hypotenuse squared = the triangle's height squared + the triangle's width squared. Let's apply this to the example above...

  • 20 squared is 400
  • 5 squared is 25
  • 400 + 25 = 425
  • The square root of 425 (to two decimal places) is 20.62

This means that your ladder needs to be 20.62 feet long (minimum) to allow for the ladder to be propped up against the wall at a safe angle.

Then, you need to add a few feet so that the extension ladder can extend past the working ledge. So, if you want to climb a 20ft wall, you need a ladder that's approximately 24ft long!

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Step Ladder Length

Calculating the right step ladder length is a little easier because you don't need to take pitch into account. Just bear in mind:

  • The step ladder will need to get you within roughly 4ft of the area you're working on
  • You must not stand on the top three treads of a swingback step ladder (see Step Ladder Do's and Don'ts)

Let's use a 10ft wall for our example - if you want to work on a gutter that's 10ft off the ground, you'll need a step ladder whose platform or topmost safe tread is 6ft off the ground. This allows for the 4ft working space we mentioned before.

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Still not 100% sure how to calculate the ladder length you need? Contact the Ladders UK Direct team for expert advice.