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Innovations In Safety

This page duplicates information of my blog post  Attic Ladder Safety Innovation, 2016.

Captioned photos that follow are from web album Innovations In Attic Ladder Safety . The photos are in reverse chronology from Spring 2016 to Spring, 2015. Innovation never ends. I hope mine is speeding up.

This 1912 attic in action is served by a Fakro LTK 22/47 drop-down ladder set at safe 60° angle. 2x10 rough opening sides are suspended from 2x10 composite beams bearing upon hallway walls. A 2x4 safety pole is rigidly attached to floor framing and roof joists. A lighted switch on a safety pole grip empowers bright lighting while a worker is still securely standing on the ladder center section. Footing on the ladder top section is more tricky, then with a hand advancing to bear weight transfers, on a sequence of safety pole grips.

An added hinge in the center section is essential to convenient and compact deployment. Bend at the added hinges, and tug straight down. Without the added hinges, the deploying ladder would not clear the ladder frame. Leveler legs give best protection against floor scuffing. Soft-rubber leveler legs also resist the scary phenomenon of "kickout", where a bottom section may suddenly transfer upright if one leans forward, midway up the steps. The less-steep angle, and the added hinges, also resist kickout.

This ladder is directly over a garage door. While deployed, a 3-way switch for attic lighting, acting as SPDT, overrides the garage door operator. Safety pole hand grips are fixed to a truss element.

I modify "Recovery" ladders by Calvert USA, with safer broad top steps. The new step gives match of ladder step pitch, for the 10" distance to the raised attic floor. Probing down with a foot, one will not be tricked by weight bearing on tops of ladder step sides. In ladders I prefer, by Fakro, Calvert USA and MidMade, door springs operate entirely upon the ladder door. There is little in the "hole" to snag a person or object carried.

It generally works out that a ladder acts parallel to floor and roof joists, with egress in attic, at roof peak.

Here a drywall plunker hole to the attic, replaced by a Fakro LTK 22.47 ladder, is not patched out. A hoist via that opening is offered, where some items appropriately stored in attic conditions, might be very heavy. The LTK ladder has 300 pound rating, but there is more danger in falling while carrying a clumsy object, than in some breakage of the ladder.

Here is a hoist concept for attic storage of clumsy objects.

A loading hatch might rarely be used. It is closed by a prototype of an R6 factory-built plug. Where usage involves access from the attic via a parallel ladder, added insulation might be placed under the lid, upon the plug, saving perhaps $1 per year of heating cost. Don't spend more than $10 for the pillow!