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Do-it-Yourselfer's Ladder Safety Tips

The safety specialists at Underwriters Laboratories offer several tips for using ladders safely when completing at-home projects.

All right you weekend warriors, time to attack the chores around the house. But be careful, especially with ladders.

This is the time of year "do-it-yourselfers" start their outdoor projects -- painting, building, installing -- and they''ll probably find themselves on a ladder at some point.

Unfortunately, this year an average of 150,000 of those will also find themselves in an emergency room due to a ladder-related mishap, according to the safety specialists at Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

UL offers some guidelines, which should help you avoid being one of them.

When using a ladder, it is important that you make sure that you read the manufacturer''s use and care instructions first, and then always set up the ladder properly on a solid, dry and level surface.

If using an extension ladder, don''t place it at to extreme an angle. Also, it''s dangerous to over extend your reach or climb too high on a ladder.

Finally, don''t try to climb a ladder with your hands full. Wear a tool belt or have someone hand you your equipment so you won''t lose your balance.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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