Chapter 13: Ladders

Chapter 13: Ladders

CHAPTER 13 Ladders (Fire Fighter I) Fire Fighter I Objectives List and describe the parts of a ladder. Describe the different types of ladders. Describe how to clean, inspect, and store ladders. Describe when, where, and who performs

service testing on ladders. Specify the hazards with ladders. Fire Fighter I Objectives Itemize the measures fire fighters should take to ensure safety when working with and on ladders. Cite the factors and guidelines used to select the appropriate ladder from the fire apparatus.

Fire Fighter I Objectives Cite the factors and guidelines used to select the appropriate ladder from the fire apparatus. Describe how to remove a ladder from the apparatus. Describe how to lift ladders. Introduction The fire service ladder is one of the most basic fire fighter tools.

Ladder technology has not changed much over the years. Every fire fighter must be proficient in working with ladders. Primary Functions of a Ladder Provides a vertical path between grades Provides an escape path and a means to

evacuate people Can be used as a working platform Can bridge a small opening Secondary Functions of a Ladder Provides stable footing and distribute weight on pitched roofs Creates a ladder structure to raise or lower

people or objects Provides a platform for equipment Creates a ramp for equipment or patients Creates a water chute Ladder Construction Fire service ladders are similar to other types of ladders. But are specialized tools not general purpose ladders

Require heavy-duty construction Require more frequent and thorough maintenance Basic Ladder Components Beams Rail Truss block Rung

Tie rod Tips Butts Roof hooks Heat sensor labels Protection plates Beams Run the length of most ladders

Three types of beam construction: Trussed beam I-beam Solid beam Rail and Truss Block Rail Top or bottom section of a trussed beam May also refer to top and bottom surfaces of an Ibeam

Truss block Piece that connects the two rails of a trussed beam Rung and Tie Rod Rung Crosspiece that spans the two beams of a ladder Serves as steps and distributes users weight Tie rod

Metal bar that runs from one beam of the ladder to the other to keep the beams from separating Tip, Butt, and Butt Spurs Tip Very top of the ladder Butt End of the ladder that is placed against the ground

Butt spurs Metal spikes attached to the butt of a ladder Butt Plate and Roof Hooks Butt plate or footpad Alternative to a simple butt spur Incorporates both a spur and a cleat or pad Roof hooks Spring-loaded, retractable, curved metal pieces

attached to the tip of a roof ladder Used to secure the ladder to the peak of a pitched roof Heat Sensor Label and Protection Plates Heat sensor label Identifies when the ladder has been exposed to specific heat conditions Changes color when exposed to a particular

temperature Protection plates Reinforcing pieces placed at chaffing and contact points to prevent damage Extension Ladder Components

Bed section Fly section Guides Halyard

Pawls Pulley Stops Staypoles Bed Section and Fly Section Bed section Widest section Serves as the base

Fly section Part that is raised or extended from the bed section Each fly section extends from the previous section Guides and Halyard Guides Strips of metal or wood that guide a fly section as it is extended Halyard

Rope or cable used to extend or hoist the fly sections Pawls and Pulley Pawls Mechanical locking devices used to secure the fly sections of an extension ladder Pulley Small grooved wheel used to change the direction of

the halyard pull Stops and Staypoles Stops Pieces of wood or metal that prevent the fly sections from overextending and collapsing Staypoles Long metal poles attached to the top of the bed section

Help stabilize the ladder as it is raised and lowered Aerial Apparatus Aerial ladders Permanently mounted, poweroperated ladders Have at least two sections Straight chassis: straight-stick aerials

Tractor trailer chassis: tillered aerials Courtesy of Dennis Wetherhold, Jr. Aerial Apparatus Elevating platform Includes passengercarrying platform attached to tip Ladder or boom must

have at least two sections Telescoping Articulating SteveStone/iStockphoto.com Portable Ladders Number and lengths of ladders used by a department depend on the maximum height of

buildings in the response area. Generally, portable ladders are limited to a length of 50 ft (15 m). Straight Ladder Single-section, fixed-length ladder May also be called wall ladders or single ladders Commonly 12 to 14 ft (3.64.2 ft) long but can be up to 20 ft (6 m) long

Roof Ladder Straight ladder with roof hooks Sometimes called a hook ladder Provides stable footing Usually 12 to 18 ft (3.65.4 m) long Courtesy of Duo-Safety Ladder Corporation

Extension Ladder Adjustable length Multiple sections Usually heavier than a straight ladder of

the same length Bangor Ladder Courtesy of Duo-Safety Ladder Corporation Extension ladder with staypoles Staypoles are planted in the ground on either side for

additional stability. Combination Ladder Convertible from a straight ladder to an A-frame, stepladder Generally 6 to 10 ft in A-frame configuration and 10 to 15 ft in the

extension configuration Folding Ladder Also called an attic ladder Narrow, collapsing ladder Designed to allow access to attic

scuttle holes and confined areas Fresno Ladder Courtesy of Duo-Safety Ladder Corporation Narrow, two-section ladder Designed to provide attic access Commonly available in 10 to 14 ft (3.04.2 m) lengths

Inspection, Maintenance, and Service Testing NFPA 1931 establishes requirements for ladder construction. NFPA 1932 provides general use guidance. Regular inspection, maintenance, and testing Inspection Ground ladder visually inspected monthly or

after each use Splintering, cracking, deformity, breaks, gouges, fraying, or other conditions Components fit snugly and operate smoothly. Heat sensor label If deficiencies are revealed, remove ladder from service and repair it. Maintenance

Basic maintenance tasks: Clean and lubricate the dogs and slides. Replace worn halyards and wire rope. Clean and lubricate roof hooks.

Maintain finish. Replace ladder in storage racks. Cleaning Clean regularly and after each use with warm, soapy water and a soft-bristle brush. Dry ladder before storing it. Service Testing NFPA 1932 requires periodic testing.

Test new ladders before use and annually thereafter. Test ladders after any repairs. Maintain service and testing records. Ladder Safety Several potential hazards are associated with ladder use. Use with caution and follow manufacturers recommendations.

General Safety Requirements Use full personal protective equipment (PPE) around ladders. Fire fighters must be able to work with and on ladders while wearing self-contained breathing apparatus. Lifting and Moving Ladders Teamwork is essential when moving ladders.

Ask for help lifting or moving heavy ladders. Placement of Ground Ladders Survey area before placing Always check for overhead wires and other obstructions. Place on stable and level surfaces.

Avoid heat and direct flame. Working on a Ladder Check climbing angle before climbing. Ensure dogs are locked and halyard is tied before climbing. Secure the base by

heeling/footing. Working on a Ladder Do not exceed ladders rated weight. Distribute weight along the length of the ladder.

Be prepared for falling debris. Be prepared to climb down quickly. Rescue Operations Anticipate actions of people you are trying to rescue. Do not let people jump to the ladder. Do not let more than one person on each section. Make verbal contact with victim.

Safeguard victims as they climb down. Ladder Damage Ladders may be easily damaged while in use. Remove from service any ladder used outside of normal limits. Even if no damage is visible Ladder Selection Ensure ladder is long enough.

Floor-to-floor height (residential): 8 to 10 ft Floor-to-windowsill height (residential): 3 ft Floor-to-floor height (commercial): 12 ft Floor-to-windowsill height (commercial): 4 ft

Ladder Selection Length depends on use of ladder. Roof access Ladder tip should extend several feet or five rungs above roofline. Ladder Selection

Window access Ladder tip should be at the side of and even with the top of a window. Window rescues Ladder tip should be at the windowsill.

Ladder Selection Proper climbing angle is 75 to the ground. Ladder will need to be slightly longer than the vertical distance between the ground and the target. Approximately one additional foot for each 15' (4.5 m) of vertical height Removing the Ladder From Apparatus Courtesy of Dennis Wetherhold, Jr.

Know what ladders are stored and where. Know how to remove them and how many people are needed. Do not lay ladders near exhaust pipes. Can be stored on

hydraulic lifts. Lifting Ladders Use sufficient assistance to lift heavy ladders. Know the lifting commands and procedures. Bend at the knees

and keep your back straight when lifting. Carrying Ladders Basic types:

Single-fire fighter carry Shoulder carry Suitcase carry Flat carry Flat shoulder carry Carries can be done in combinations of two, three, or four fire fighters.

Placing a Ladder Site selection General area chosen by officer in charge Specific area chosen by fire fighter

Stable, level surface No manhole covers or trap doors Free from overhead obstructions At least 10 ft (3 m) from power lines Away from door and other high-traffic areas Placing a Ladder Climbing angle 75 Ladder is arms length away when standing

vertically. Vertical reach 4 times the distance from base of the structure Check inclination guide to help with placement Raising a Ladder Use a beam raise when ladder must be raised parallel to the target. Use a rung raise when ladder must be raised perpendicular to the target.

Combinations of one, two, three, and four fire fighters can be used for raise. Raising a Ladder Tying the halyard Keeps it out of the way Provides a backup to the dogs for securing the fly section Fly section orientation

Ladder manufacturer will specify. Metal or fiberglass ladders are generally used fly section out. Securing the Ladder Heeling the ladder Standing under ladder, pull back into structure.

Place a foot against each beam. Tie the ladder off. Climbing the Ladder

Ensure ladder is properly secured. Check climbing angle. Climb slowly; avoid bouncing. Wear proper PPE and lower face shield. Hoist tools by rope if possible.

Do not overload ladder. Dismounting a Ladder Ensure roof or floor is solid and stable before dismounting. Maintain contact with ladder at three points. Do not shift weight

until you have tested the footing. Working From a Ladder Use a ladder belt or a leg lock to secure yourself to the ladder. Do not attempt work from a ladder without

properly securing yourself first. Placing a Roof Ladder Open roof hooks on the ground. Place on ground ladder with hooks up. Slide or hoist the roof ladder upward. Once on the roof, slide the roof ladder into position and flip it over when hooks clear the peak of the roof.

Secure the roof ladder. Inspect a Chimney Many calls due to chimney-related emergencies Access can be hazardous.

General Safety Rules Wear appropriate PPE.

Choose the proper ladder for the job. Choose the proper number of people. Lift with your legs. Use proper hand and foot placement. Look overhead for wires and obstructions. General Safety Rules Allow the heel person to take charge of raising and lowering the ladder. After extending an extension ladder, check the

pawls and halyard. Check the ladder for the proper angle. Ensure that the wall or roof will support the ladder before climbing it. General Safety Rules Remain aware of hazards to yourself and to others. Maintain hand contact with the ladder. Use an appropriate leg lock or ladder belt.

Summary Ladders provide safe access and egress. Ladders can be used for secondary functions. The beam and rung are two main structural components of the ladder. Three basic types of ladder beam construction are trussed beam, I-beam, and solid beam. Summary

Wooden ladders have solid beams. The rung spans two beams of the ladder. Portable ladders contain a rail, truss block, tie rod, tip, butt, butt spurs, butt plate, heat sensor label, and protection plate. Extension ladders are two or more ladder sections and have additional components. Summary Aerial and portable are the two general

categories of ladders. Portable ladders include general-purpose ladders. Fire apparatus are required to carry at least one rood ladder, one extension ladder, and one folding ladder. Summary A straight ladder is a single-section, fixedlength ladder. A roof ladder is a straight ladder.

An extension ladder is an adjustable-length ladder with multiple sections. Bangor ladders are extension ladders. A combination ladder can be converted. Summary A folding ladder is a collapsible ladder. A Fresno ladder is a narrow, two-section extension ladder. Portable ladders must be inspected,

maintained, and service tested. All fire fighters should be able to perform routine ladder maintenance. Summary Service testing portable ladders must follow NFPA 1932. Follow safety precautions. Ladder tips should be placed at the top of the ladder or below the window sill.

Communication is key in coordinating ladder efforts.

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