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					Fire Service Ladders

Main Topics
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Basic Parts of a Ladders Ladder Types Ladder Raises Ladder Positioning Ladder Safety Ladder Inspection and Maintenance

NFPA 1931

Standard on Design and Design Verification Tests for Fire Department Ground Ladders
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This includes all fire service ground ladders only.

Basic Parts of a Ladder
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Beam- main structural member of a ladder that supports the rungs or rung blocks

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Bed Section- lowest or widest section of an extension ladder Butt- (heel) bottom end of the ladder; the end that is placed on the ground or other supporting surface when the ladder is raised

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Basic Parts of a Ladder
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Butt Spurs- metal safety plates or spikes attached to the butt end of ground service ladder beams to prevent slippage

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Dog Pawls- (also called ladder locks and pawls) devices attached to the inside beams on fly sections used to hold the fly section in place after being raised

Basic Parts of a Ladder
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Fly- upper section(s) of extension or some combination ladders

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Foot Pads- rubber or neoprene foot plates, usually of the swivel type, attached to butt of ladder

Basic Parts of a Ladder
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Guides- wood or metal strips, sometimes in the form of slots or channels, on an extension ladder that guide the fly section while being raised

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Halyard- rope or cable used for hoisting or lowering the fly section of an extension ladder

Basic Parts of a Ladder
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Heat Sensor Label- label affixed to the inside of each beam of each section; a color change indicates that the ladder has been exposed to a sufficient degree of heat and that it should be tested before further use Hooks- curved metal devices installed on the tip end of a roof ladder to secure the ladder to the highest on the roof of a building

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Basic Parts of a Ladder
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Protective Plates- strips of metal attached to ladders at chafing points, such as the tip, or at areas where it comes in contact with the apparatus mounting brackets

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Pulley- small, grooved wheel through which the halyard is drawn on an extension ladder

Basic Parts of a Ladder
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Rails- the two lengthwise members of a trussed ladder beam that are separated by truss or separation blocks

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Rungs- cross members that provide the foothold for climbing Stops- wood or metal pieces that prevent the fly section from being extended to far

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Basic Parts of a Ladder
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Tie Rods- metal rods running from one beam to the other

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Tip- extreme top of a ladder Truss Block- separation pieces between the rails of a trussed ladder; sometimes used to support rungs

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Ladder Types
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Single Ladder- a nonadjustable in length and consists of only one section; 6-32 ft.

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Roof Ladders- single ladders equipped at the tip with folding hooks that provide a means anchoring the ladder over the roof ridge Folding Ladder- single ladders that have hinged rungs allowing them to be folded so that one beam rests against the other

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Ladder Types
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Extension Ladders- a ladder adjustable in length; it consists of a base or bed section and one or more fly sections that travel in guides or brackets to permits length adjustment; 12-39 ft.

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Pole Ladder- extension ladders that have staypoles for added leverage and stability when raising the ladder
Combination Ladder- a ladder designed so that they may be used as a self-supported stepladder

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Ladder Types
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Pompier Ladder- a single-beam ladder with rungs projecting from both sides

Ladder Maintenance
Ladder Maintenance means keeping ladders in a state of usefulness readiness and ladder repair means to either restore or replace that which has become inoperable
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Keep ground ladders free of moisture Do not store or rest ladders in a position where they are subjected to exhaust or engine heat Do not store a ladder in an area where they are exposed to the elements Do not paint ladders except for the top and bottom 12 inches of the beams for purposes of identification or visibility

Ladder Maintenance
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Clean Ladders after every use (fire related) Use a soft bristle brush and water for cleaning Tar, oils, or greasy residues should be cleaned with safety solvents Anytime a ladder gets wet, dry it as soon as possible Occasional lubrication is recommended

Ladder Inspections
NFPA 1932 requires ladders to be inspected after each use and on a monthly basis

Any defects should be taken care of IMMEDIATELY
Ladder Inspections:
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Check the heat sensor labels for discoloration Check for snugness and tightness Check bolts and rivets for tightness Check welds for any cracks or obvious defects Check beams and rungs for cracks, splintering, breaks gouges, checks, wavy conditions, or deformation

Ladder Inspections
Roof Ladders:  Make sure that the roof hook assemblies operate with ease  Make sure there is no rust on the hinges of the hooks Extension Ladders:  Make sure the pawl assemblies work properly  Look for and fraying or kinking of the halyard  Check the snugness of the halyard when the ladder is in the bedded position  Check the condition of the ladder guides and for free movement of the fly section  Make sure the pulleys turn freely  Check for free operation of the pole ladder staypole toggles and check their condition

Ladder Raises
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One-Firefighter Shoulder Carry Two-Firefighter Shoulder Carry Three-Firefighter Carry Four-Firefighter Carry

Ladder Positioning
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Ladder at least two different points on the building Avoid placing ladders over openings such as windows or doors Take advantage of strong points in the building construction Avoid overhead obstructions Avoid placing ladders on uneven terrain or soft spots Avoid placing ladders on main paths of travel that other firefighters or evacuees may use Avoid placing ladders where they may contact either burning surfaces or direct flame Do not place ladders against unstable walls or surfaces Always ladder a building with a 75 degree angle

Ladder Safety
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Always wear protective gear including gloves and helmets Choose the proper ladder for the job Use your leg muscles not your back Use the proper number of firefighters for each raise Check for over head obstructions Check the ladder for proper climbing angle Check the pawls to be sure that they are seated over the rungs properly Climb smoothly and rhythmically Do not over load the ladder Always use a heeler Inspect ladders after each use

Conclusion
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Know how to select the proper ladder for the job Know how to use that ladder Know where the ladders are located on the trucks and which trucks carry ladders Use ladders properly Inspect and maintain all fire service ladders on regular basis Wear the proper PPE during ladder usage Use ladders safely

Questions or Comments?


				
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posted:1/31/2010
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