How To Use An Extension Ladder Safely – Best Tips

Safety is the most important thing to look out for when working on any equipment. But, safety is much more important in the case of extension ladders. as ladder injuries are very hazardous. Every year, there are thousands of Americans who need medical help due to ladder-related injuries. But, don’t worry. In this post, I have shared the correct ways on how you can properly use an extension ladder. There are some quick tips to implement as well. If you keep these points in mind while using an extension ladder, you can assure good safety and avoid ladder-related injuries.

Using An Extension Ladder Safely

I’ve already shared some safety tips for ladders like the 4 to 1 rule, etc. But, in this article, safety tips will be totally focused on extension ladders. Extension ladders are a little complex to use in comparison to step ladders, thus this guide is required.

Using a ladder is not a kid’s work. You require proper concentration while using a ladder. Although experts are always recommended to do these risky works, you can also do these risky works as well if you properly follow the safety guidelines.

You may also check out our guide for the best extension ladders to get an idea about the best extension ladders currently available in the market.

Below are the easy-to-follow steps which will ensure good safety while using an extension ladder. Steps like setting up the ladder, raising it, and properly climbing it are explained below:

Step 1: Ladder Positioning

Ensure that the ladder is in the collapsed position. Move the ladder to the position where you intend to use it. Make sure the ladder has proper friction with the ground.

Step 2: Extending The Ladder

Now, you need to push the sliding section till the ladder reaches your desired height. In case your ladder has a pulley system, use it by pulling it to extend the ladder.

Make sure you have locked all the hooks to avoid sliding of the fly section. In the case of a pulley, tie the end of the rope to the lower rung.

For roof-related works, make sure the ladder has an extra 2-3 feet height beyond the roofline.

Step 3: Checking Ladder Stability

Now, we need to ensure that the ladder is properly locked and is stable. Make sure that the ladder is properly sitting on the wall and is not movable. If it is so, try to repeat the above process.

Check ladder stability is important to ensure there are no stability issues that might occur while using the ladder.

Step 4: Setting Up The Ladder

Try to set the ladder at a safe angle of around 75.5°. Also, follow the 4 to 1 ratio rule(that is for every four feet height, a one-foot distance of ladder from the wall).

Check again for the stability of the ladder.

Step 5: Climbing The Ladder

The final step is to climb the ladder properly. To do this, use both of your hands for perfect support, and climb the ladder one rung at a time.

Thus, by following these simple steps, you can ensure proper safety while using an extension ladder and avoid hazardous injuries. Also, having one helper is always recommended in case of any incidents.

Safety Precautions For Extension Ladders

Here are some precautions to look out for before thinking to use an extension ladder:

  • Ensure that the ladder is in proper condition and does not have a broken part.
  • Ensure the wall is not old and broken. We need to make sure our support stands firm while using the ladder.
  • Ensure there is no power line above the ladder.
  • Ensure not to stand on the top-most(top 3) rungs.
  • Ensure you only climb down by using one rung at a time. Don’t skip the rungs.

Safety Tips For Extension Ladders

Some extra safety tips to look out for while using an extension ladder:

  • Know the position of different ladder parts like fly section, base section, rung locks, pulley, etc.
  • Make sure to use a properly sized ladder only.
  • Use a tool belt to carry tools free while climbing.
  • Make sure the ladder can withstand your weight.
  • Always follow that 4 to 1 ratio rule.
  • Get a helper for extra safety.


I know using an extension ladder does not seem that easy, but if you follow these steps properly, you can avoid any injuries while using an extension ladder.

If you’ve any doubts over any tip or step, feel free to ask using comments.

I hope that after following these steps properly, you will be able to use the extension ladders in a proper and safer way.


Leave a Comment