How to Use an Extension Ladder Safely-Fact and Rule 2023

You know the use of a ladder is not too tough to operate. But some particular ladder, such as the extension ladder, requires technique to use it properly.

With that said, the question of “how to use an extension ladder” or the safe use of extension ladders got universal attention. Although, it is not so challenging to operate correctly. But of course, it needs attention and proper guidance.

Why is extension ladder safety knowledge important?

  • An extension ladder is the tallest ladder among all types of ladders.
  • Only two parts of the extension ladder are in contact with the ground.
  • Maximum ladder accidents occur from falling 10 feet and more.
  • Ladder accidents in the United States are increasing rapidly. (More than 16,4000 severe injuries and almost 300 deaths every year)

Feeling concerned?


Today we have penned down the complete details about extension ladder safety. Eventually, you will be familiar with the whole process of an extension ladder. Besides, recognize the correct definition and parts of an extension ladder.

Let’s get started with the definition.

What is an extension ladder?

Before knowing how to use an extension ladder, you must know what an extension ladder is, its function, feature, and so on.

Consequently, we have briefly described the definition of an extension ladder. Then go for other segments step by step.

However, an extension ladder is a sort of ladder that is not self-support like a step ladder. It requires stable architecture to stand at its feet. Clearing speaking, it is not a self-supported ladder. Generally, it is a straight ladder that bears two parts. Whereas one is fixed and another part is adjustable or customizable.

The adjustable parts of a ladder, allow user to extend the overall height up and down as per need. Besides, make it easy for the user to fold it and store it in a small space.

See the extension ladder parts details with a picture diagram for a clearer view.

How many parts an extension ladder has?

Here’s a quick view to analyze the fundamental part of an extension ladder. Before you go ahead to know how to use an extension ladder. You should know all the extension ladder part details.

Extension ladder parts

1st Part

 The vital part of any ladder is its feet. In the case of an extension ladder, it is also applicable but with only one variation. Yes, many extension ladder pack with safety shoes or foot that form with pads. These pads are meant to touch the ground at the time of use.

Generally, it will be rotated or swiveled for getting proper contact with the ground or surface where the ladder stands.

2nd Part

The most unique section of this ladder is its flying part, for which it mainly got the name of an extension ladder. Eventually, this part is used to maximize the ladder length to reach the highest place.

Whereas the extension ladder primarily bears two components. But few extension ladders may carry two flying parts where the whole ladder will convey three parts.

3rd Part

Like any typical ladder, the base is the piece of an extension ladder that stands on the place. At the time of your climb, you have to place your first feet on the rung of this fixed part. It is known as the base section.

4th Part

An extension ladder’s integral and safety unit is rung lock. When you maximum the height, it is a part that locks the flying section and helps keep it in an exact place. Literally, it works like a bracket for which the flying part can’t slide down or up until you release the lock.

5th Part

Not all extension ladder comes with the 5th number part, namely rope or pulley system. The ladder is extra-large in size, having this little part.

6th Part

The part that joins rung, steps, and braces of each side of the ladder is called the side rail. See the picture point if you are not getting our single.

How to use an extension ladder (Included Extent Process)

1st step

In the very first step, you need to shift the ladder to the area or venues where you want to use it for your work. Make sure your ladder remains lock, unfolded, and straight when shifting.

2nd step

Now moving to the next step, let’s see how to extend an extension ladder. We have shown you the actual process. Well, to raise or extend the ladder you have to lay down the body of the ladder on the ground. And beware its feet are proximate to the wall from where it takes the support to stand on its feet.

As we already mention the extension ladder is not a self-supported device.

3rd step

Forward to the next step, it’s time to lift the ladder carefully. You have to raise the end part of the ladder until it’s got a vertical position.

At this point, stand in way; you are between the ladder and the wall and facing the ladder.

4th step

However, after making it in a vertical position now, it’s time to raise the top part of the ladder. For doing so, different extension ladder has different technology. For example, if you own small or stander size. Then you have to push up the flying part manually to extend it.

But if you have the larger one, there must be a rope feature to its extent. Meantime you need to pull the rope, and your ladder will be raised automatically.

Continue this process until you reach your desired height. Ensure the flying part is in the top section and the base is on the ground.

5th step

When you have done with the pull-up session, you need to lock the flying part with the rung lock feature.

Before climbing, make sure both flying and base parts of the ladder are totally in touch with the ground and wall. Not climbing on it if you find it is not touching the wall or floor properly.

6th step (final step)

Your setup is completed, and you can now climb the ladder. Keep in mind; you must climb one rung of the ladder at a time. And you have to use both hands for holding the upper rung or side rail according to your comfort.

See the video if your are still confused about extension ladder placing.

Extension ladder safety tips

If you follow a few safety rules, an accident’s chance will diminish fruitfully. Below we have written down the most significant point.

  • To ensure ultimate safety, you can Screw a cleat to the deck behind the ladder’s feet.
  • For top or flying part safety, use a ladder stabilizer that keep your ladder in place.
  • If possible tie off the ladder top and bottom with the solid structure for more stability.
  • Avoid the rush area and the place in front of the doorway for the ladder set up.
  • Do not set up ladder on the uneven surface.
  • Make sure ladder are on a stable surface. It is free from oil and slippery element.
  • Never use a ladder in windy conditions or bad weather.
  • Check the extension ladder; all locking mechanism is engaged before climbing.
  • Do not carry any item in your hand while climbing on the ladder.
  • Use a tool bag into your waist belt to bring the necessary equipment.
  • Do not climb the ladder with bare feet. Use safety shoes.
  • Do not place a ladder near any electric wires or power lines.
  • Before using, confirm ladder’s rungs, rail, and other parts aren’t damaged.
  • Avoid standing on ladder top three rungs.
  • Use three contact points. Two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand.
  • Do not overreach. If you need to access more, it would be good to set up the ladder again.
  • Ensure you have chosen the right ladder that can bear your weight. See ladder weight capacity.
  • Set the ladder with maintaining ladder angle rule.
  • Make sure what size ladder you need according to your job height. See ladder height chart.


Extension ladder height calculator

Ladder Height

Maximum Reach

Highest Point Ladder User Can Reach

16 Feet

15 Feet

9 Feet

20 Feet

19 Feet

9 to 13 Feet

24 Feet

23 Feet

13 to 17 Feet

28 Feet

27 Feet

17 to 21 Feet

32 Feet


21 to 25 Feet

Frequently Asked Questions about extension ladder safety.

  • How to use an extension ladder to get on a roof?

Answer: Firstly, place your ladder on the ground by following the angle rule. Secondly, ensure your ladder is placed at least 3 feet above from roof edge.

Lastly, tie off your ladder bottom and the top part with solid construction.

Now your extension ladder is ready to get on a roof.

  • What are the basic rules for extension ladders?

Answer: Generally, there are five basic rules of extension ladders.

  1. Place ladder on ground with proper angle rule
  2. The top of the ladder is always three feet above from your working height.
  3. Maintain 3-points of contact while climbing up and down.
  4. Use a tool belt instead of carrying accessories in hand.
  5. Face the ladder and keep your body straight while climbing up and down.
  • What is the most common danger of extension ladder use?

Answer: The three most common dangers associated with extension ladders are:

  1. Reaching too far beyond the approved height.
  2. You are shifting the ladder from one place to another while you are on it. 
  3. You are placing the ladder on the unstable ground for gaining extra height.

Final words

According to our promises, we have included all the details about an extension ladder that is necessary. In the end, we hope now you have got to know how to use an extension ladder safely and enormously. Likewise, acknowledge an extension ladder total part and its extent process.

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