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Whether you’re climbing on a ladder to clean your gutters, fix an issue or install metal gutter shields, you need to stay safe. Ladder-related falls are a leading cause of injury, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. On average, around 500,000 people fall from ladders per year, with a whopping 97% of those accidents occurring at home or on a farm. 

Often people using ladders are not mindful of the serious risks associated with ladder use. Injuries predominately involve men with an average age of 55, according to the National Institute of Health. The article further states that the ladder height doesn’t really matter; you can sustain injury from a fall from any height.

Ladder Safety Basics

If you plan to use a ladder to clean your gutters or if you have mesh-style vinyl or metal gutter guards that require cleaning, simple ladder safety could save your limbs and, potentially, your life. Follow these tips before making the climb.

  1. Inspect – Before using an aluminum ladder, look for bent steps and rails, sharp edges and loose rivets. Fiberglass and wood ladders should have no cracks or loose steps. Tighten bolts and rods, but do not overtighten. Make sure the ladder is clean and dry.
  2. Set-up – Place the ladder on a firm, level surface and lean it against a wall or another fixed object. Do not set up a ladder near a doorway or other high-traffic area. When your ladder is on firm ground, it’s less likely to cause a fall.
  3. Climbing – Climb and descend a ladder carefully and slowly, holding side rails with both hands. If possible, have a second person available to hold the ladder when you go up and come down.
  4. Positioning – Avoid overreaching. When you overreach, you can lose footing or cause the ladder to become destabilized. Keep your body centered between rails, and both feet on the ladder at all times. You should always have at least one hand on the ladder. Never use a ladder during rain, high wind or lightning.
  5. Storage – When folding, retracting or closing a ladder, be careful not to place fingers between sections. Store the ladder away from heat, moisture and direct sunlight.

Avoid Climbing Your Ladder – Get Gutter Covers

If the only reason you climb your ladder is to clean gutters, look at gutter cover reviews. You’ll find many homeowners love that they rarely need to get their ladder out now that they no longer clean their gutters! If you haven’t looked at gutter cover reviews for America’s #1 choice in metal gutter shields, check out Gutter Helmet®. Gutter Helmet keeps all kinds of debris out of your gutters, so you’ll no longer have to risk serious injury to keep them clear. For more information about the best gutter guard system, call Gutter Helmet today at (800) 824-3772.