Falls are the most common cause of accidents at home. Ladders need to be used with caution and handled carefully.
Don't struggle with an extension ladder on your own.
Get help. Remember the leaning ladder rule: position the foot of the ladder one measure out for every four measures in height.
Ladder feet should be on a firm, level surface, the top resting on something solid. Never lean a ladder on guttering or on a window-sill. If you need to work in these areas, use a pre-fitted stand-off which maintains stability. Always secure the bottom and upper part of the ladder with rope or straps around the stiles, never from the rungs, remembering to keep loose ends away from your feet to avoid tripping.
Move the ladder rather than over-reach. Wear sensible shoes.
Don't wear sandals or work in bare feet.
Erect on firm ground, make sure it is stable and tie in to a building if more than 3.25 metres high for a 1.3 metre square base. Always wear a helmet and gloves.
To find out more about how to use a ladder or stepladder safely, pick up one of these leaflets at any good DIY store.