Ladders can be dangerous tools. Ensure that they're sturdy and are sitting securely on dry, level ground. When leaning a ladder against a wall, stand in front of the ladder. Adjust the ladder angle until you can comfortably touch the ladder rungs with your hands outstretched at shoulder height.
Beware if you're wearing kneepads; they can get caught in the ladder rungs as you're climbing. Haul tools up with a rope and bucket or carry them in a tool belt to leave your hands free. Stay centered-avoid any reaching maneuver that moves your hips beyond the ladder's side rails. Don't step on the ladder's top two rungs or on the top of a stepladder.
Improving safety in and around your home will help you respond quickly and appropriately in an emergency. Better yet, it can help you prevent emergencies completely, and it often takes just minutes of your time. In Chapter 3, you'll discover a selection of other fix-it tasks around the house that are both quick and easy.