The nerve of some people! When coming up with new ideas for this column, it was recommended to me (by heartless higher-ups) to delve into the chronicles of something they like to call “Stupid Chris Tricks.” As if such a thing exists! I’m insulted beyond words. Still, against my better judgment (again, assuming there is such a thing) I’ll bow to the higher-ups and share some things to avoid doing when working with ladders… things that no one can prove come from the personal experience of the author.
1 Never put a carpet remnant under an extension ladder. You may think it’s a good idea to protect that wood or tile floor, but the laws of physics don’t agree.
2 The way to determine the proper angle of an extension ladder is to place your feet at the foot of the ladder. With your back straight, your arms should be fully extended at 90 degrees. If the ladder is angled too much, it will slide down and break your newly installed kitchen window. Too steep, and you and you might end up wearing your bucket of paint while lying flat on your back in your driveway during the neighbor’s cookout.
3 The top of a step ladder is really not a step, no matter how much it looks like one. There’s even a sticker that warns you. Step on the non-step at your own peril, and don’t be surprised when the 8-foot step ladder buckles and the singing voice climbs a couple octaves.
4 Metal ladders really do conduct electricity… it’s a law. Working on live wires is dumb. Working on live wires while standing on a metal ladder is, well, let’s just say you only have to learn that lesson once.
Once again, these are just hypothetical outcomes that never happened to me… as far as you know.