You’ve probably seen them in stores or at home improvement centers. They look great, but they also pose a danger to children. How can you store ladders safely outdoors?
The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) reports that nearly half of homes inspected had a ladder left out where children could access it. In addition, the National Safety Council estimates that over 2,500 injuries occur each year from falling ladders.
There are several ways to store ladders outside safely. One option is to place the ladder against a wall or fence. Another way is to hang the ladder vertically from a tree branch or other sturdy structure. If you don’t want to risk damaging your property, consider placing the ladder inside a shed or garage.
Types of Ladders
Ladders come in many different styles and sizes. The type of ladder you choose depends on how tall you need it to be and what purpose it will serve. For example, if you’re building a deck, you’ll need something with more strength than a garden stool.
Here’s a list of some common types of ladders:
- Garden Stools: These ladders usually have three legs and an open top. They’re good for short tasks such as reaching into a flower pot or picking up small objects.
- Step-Stool: This style has two parallel steps instead of one. It’s perfect for climbing stairs.
- Extension Ladder: This type of ladder features extra long rungs that allow you to reach higher places.
- Telescoping Ladder: This type folds down when not in use, making it easy to transport.
- Straight Ladder: A straight ladder consists of only two support posts. It’s ideal for reaching high shelves.
How to Store Your Ladders Safely
Once you’ve chosen the best location for storing your ladders, follow these tips to make sure your kids stay safe while playing around your house.
1. Keep Children Away From Unattended Ladders
Children should never climb onto unattended ladders. Even if the ladder is locked, children may still try to get onto it. To prevent this problem, lock the ladder whenever it’s not being used.
2. Make Sure Kids Know Not to Play With Ladders
Kids shouldn’t play near ladders unless adults supervise them. Teach children about the dangers of ladders by explaining how dangerous they can be. Also, teach them not to touch or climb on them.
3. Use Proper Tools When Working Around Ladders
Use proper tools when working near ladders. Never put anything like a screwdriver or hammer into a child’s hand. Instead, keep those items away from where children might accidentally grab them.
4. Always Have Someone Watch Over Children While Climbing Ladders
If you leave a ladder unattended, someone else must watch over children who are using it. That means you need to provide adult supervision every time a child climbs a ladder.
5. Don’t Leave Ladders Outside During Rainy Weather
When it rains, water can damage wood decks, fences, and other outdoor structures. To protect your home from water damage, remove any ladders that aren’t needed during rainy weather.
6. Keep Ladders Out Of Reach
Keep all ladders at least six feet off the ground and out of reach of toddlers. You also need to make sure that no part of the ladder is within reach of a child.
7. Install Guardrails On Decks And Fences
A guardrail helps prevent people from falling off a ladder. Install guardrails on decks and fences to help prevent injuries.
8. Be Careful About Where You Put Ladders
Don’t stack ladders too close together. Doing so could cause a ladder to tip over. Instead, space them far enough apart so that if one falls, another won’t fall with it.
9. Remove Ladders Before Vacationing Or Moving Homes
Ladders can pose a safety hazard if left behind when moving homes or vacationing. If you plan to move, take your ladders with you. Otherwise, store them safely until you return.
Can ladders be stored outside?
Yes! But there are some things to consider before doing so. First, you’ll want to choose an area that has good drainage. The soil needs to drain well because moisture will build up quickly if it doesn’t have access to air.
Next, you’ll want to make sure that the area isn’t subject to extreme temperatures. For example, if you live in a hot climate, don’t store your ladders outdoors. The heat will shorten their lifespan. Instead, store your ladders indoors. Choose an area that has good ventilation and doesn’t have direct sunlight.
Next, consider the size of your ladder. If your ladder is very large, you may want to store it vertically instead of horizontally. Vertical storage keeps the ladder stable and prevents it from tipping over. Finally, check for cracks or holes in the walls. These can allow moisture to enter the wall and damage the structure.
How Can You Hang Things in Your Garage?
You can hang many things in your garage. But there are some things that you should avoid hanging in your garage. Here are some tips:
1. Avoid Hanging Heavy Items In Your Garage
Hanging heavy objects in your garage can lead to structural problems. For example, if the weight of the object causes the ceiling joists to bow downward, then the roof could collapse. This would create a dangerous situation for anyone inside the house.
2. Make Sure Garage Doors Are Securely Closed
Hanging something on the door frame of your garage can cause the door to open unexpectedly. When this happens, you could lose control of the object and hurt yourself.
3. Avoid Using Garage Hooks As A Storage Solution
Garage hooks are designed to hold small objects such as bikes and tools. However, they’re not meant to support heavy items like ladders. If you use these hooks to store a ladder, you could put stress on the hook’s mounting hardware. Over time, this could weaken the connection between the hook and its mounting bracket. Then, the hook could detach itself from the wall and fall onto you or your car.
4. Use Proper Brackets For Storing Ladders
When storing ladders, you need to use proper brackets. Some brackets are made specifically for ladders. Others are intended for general purpose use. If you use the wrong type of bracket, the ladder could slip out of place. This could result in injury.
5. Store Ladders Away From Vehicles
If you have a vehicle parked in your garage, keep your ladders away from the vehicle. Even though the vehicle might seem safe, it could still be a source of danger. For instance, if the vehicle rolls forward, the ladder could come into contact with the vehicle. This could cause serious injury.
6. Keep Ladders Out Of Children’s Reach
If you have kids, keep your ladders out of their reach. Kids often climb on things without thinking about what they’re doing. They could get hurt by falling off of a ladder.
7. Consider Safety Measures Before Hanging Anything
Before you start hanging anything in your garage, take safety precautions. For example, before hanging a ladder, make sure that no one is around. Also, ensure that the ladder is properly secured to prevent it from toppling over.
8. Don’t Let The Weather Affect Your Decisions
The weather can affect how long you’ll need to store your ladders. Rainy conditions will increase the likelihood of water getting into the wall. This can weaken the wall and cause it to crack. Dry conditions can also cause wood to dry out. Wood expands when it dries out. If the wood swells too much, it could split apart and become damaged.
What Angle Should a Ladder Be Placed At?
Ladders should always be placed at an angle. Why? Because placing them vertically makes them unstable. If you want to hang something above your head, you’d better be careful where you place the ladder. Otherwise, you could accidentally knock the ladder down and hurt yourself.
Can you leave aluminum ladders outside?
Yes, you can leave aluminum ladders outside. Aluminum is more resistant to corrosion than steel. It won’t rust or corrode. However, aluminum is also lighter than steel. So, if you don’t plan on using the ladder very often, then aluminum may not be worth the extra weight.
How Long Can You Leave Your Ladders Outside?
You can leave your ladders outside all year round. But, there are certain times of the year when it’s best to remove them. For example, during winter months, you shouldn’t leave your ladders outside because snow could accumulate on top of them. This could weigh down the ladder and cause it to topple over. In addition, cold temperatures can damage the paint on your ladder.
Can you store a fiberglass ladder outside?
Fiberglass ladders are usually used indoors. But, you can store a fiberglass ladder outdoors. Just make sure that the ladder gets plenty of sunlight. This will help protect the paint job. Fiberglass ladders are also less likely to break than wooden ones.
How Far Apart Are Ladder Rungs?
Rungs on a ladder must be spaced far enough apart so that someone can easily walk between them. If you put the rungs close together, people would have trouble walking between them.
How Many Steps Does A Ladder Have?
A ladder has several steps. Each step adds stability to the ladder. So, if you want to be able to safely use your ladder for extended periods of time, you might consider buying a ladder with many steps.
Storing Ladders Vertically vs Horizontally
When storing ladders horizontally, you can avoid having to bend over to retrieve items on high shelves. But, this type of storage isn’t recommended for everyone. Some people find it difficult to bend over while standing up straight. If you decide to store your ladders vertically, you’ll probably have to bend over to retrieve things on higher shelves. But, this method of storage is easier for some people than others.
Can you store a Little Giant Ladder outside?
Yes, Little Giant ladders can be stored outside. They’re made from treated lumber. Treated lumber is designed to withstand exposure to moisture. This means that they won’t rot or decay. However, you still need to keep them away from direct sunlight.
How do you store a vertical ladder?
Vertical ladders are typically stored by hanging them off the wall. The bottom of the ladder rests against the ground. Then, you simply hook the ladder onto hooks attached to the wall.
How should straight and extension ladders be stored?
Ladders are typically stored in pairs. One ladder serves as an extension of the other one. When you store two ladders like this, you can place them side-by-side. Or, you can stack them one on top of another. Whichever way you choose to store them, make sure that the rungs aren’t touching each other.
What about folding ladders?
Some ladders come equipped with folding features. These types of ladders fold into compact packages. This makes it easy to store them. However, these ladders don’t always provide the same level of safety as full-sized models.
Can Fiberglass Ladders Get Wet?
No, fiberglass ladders cannot get wet. That’s why they’re often used indoors. If you live near water, then you may not want to use these ladders.
Do Fiberglass Ladders Go Bad?
Fiberglass is a durable material. It doesn’t go bad. Instead, it just needs to be cleaned regularly. You can clean your fiberglass ladders using soap and warm water. Make sure that you rinse the ladders thoroughly after cleaning them.
How to Maintain Your Fiberglass Ladder in Storage
You shouldn’t worry too much about maintaining your fiberglass ladders when they’re stored. However, you will need to take care of any rusting problems before they become serious. To prevent rust, you should wipe down your ladders every few months.