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Are Your Ground Ladder Tips Marked With Safety in Mind?

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  • Are Your Ground Ladder Tips Marked With Safety in Mind?

    Are Your Ground Ladders Safely Marked? Posted by Robert G. Parry Retired Captain Houston Fire Department... Several years ago in Houston, I was instrumental in having the top 3 rungs of our ground ladders ( including the attic / scuttle hole ) marked with the red/white reflective tape the government mandates truckers to have on their trailers. Also, the entire beam of a roof ladder is also taped to avoid a trip on a roof as well as to see it ( like the attic ladder) if you must make a hasty escape. The tape is easy to put on and clean up is soap and water. What does your department use?
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  • #2
    Holy crap. I'd like to point out that this is brilliant. I have seen any do this or suggest it. This to me is one of those things that makes you go "ohh duh!" when you see it.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    • #3
      I forgot to mention that you can contact your local Public Works Department to see if they have extra tape so you can "test" before you buy. Also, I was given two websites from other FFs from another magazine blog to see their products. They are firehousepride.com and reflect-lights.com.....

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      • #4
        That is a Great Id! Simple and cheap to do! Damn I wish I had thought it!
        Stay Safe
        Bull


        “Guys if you get hurt, we’ll help you. If you get sick we’ll treat you. If you want to bitch and moan, then all I can tell you is to flick the sand out of your slit, suck it up or get the hell out!”
        - Capt. Marc Cox CFD

        Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.
        -WINSTON CHURCHILL

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        • #5
          This is so bizzare...I have been pondering this for a couple of weeks now and was going to ask about it on here and BAM! here it is. I was thinking more of putting it on the tip end only in a strip about a foot long, but I am digging the way this looks and may go that route now.

          thanks for posting the picture. It is very dramatic.
          Crazy, but that's how it goes
          Millions of people living as foes
          Maybe it's not too late
          To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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          • #6
            I use scrap pieces of high intensity retro-reflective sheeting to mark our ladders and a lot of hand tools also. It comes in many colors, the highway department gives use scraps from road signs fabrication. We use a different color for each Company. I like the entire beam marking idea! Our roof ladders are reflectively marked at each end, at the balance point, and where the beam rests on each storage bracket when mounted. Tool loss has nearly been eliminated. Mark tools so the tape is visible, no matter which way they are turned.

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            • #7
              We did this not too long ago, and it turned out great. Keep some extras around though, when the retro reflective is exposed to heat it will bubble and loose it's intensity. On the beams of the ladders, we did the top 18" or so and then the balance point on the 18' and 24' ladders for single person carry. I got a role from one of our guys who works in the sign business, and I'll tell you paying for it, the stuff is expensive!

              I also made 1" strips that went on each narrow edge of the beams on our Alco-Lite ladders, so you can see the tip if you are looking straight on at it.

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              • #8
                Very nice. Looks very effective. Thanks for sharing the idea.
                We do not rise to the occasion. We fall back to our level of training.

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                • #9
                  Great idea. I ordered some andwe have all of our ground ladders done with it. We are looking at putting some on some of the aerial ladders we have too.

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                  • #10
                    Great idea...

                    Who knew, I thought all the great ideas were already thought.
                    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

                    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

                    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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                    • #11
                      That is a great idea, and I have tons of scrap reflective material from our address sign project.

                      Anyone thinking about this - unless you are just loaded with cash, contact your local sign shops, DOT sign shops, or road department sign shops for their scraps. Government sign shops such as DOT or county road departments would have LARGE pieces.

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