a) At least annually
b) Any time a ladder is suspected of being unsafe
c) After the ladder has been subjected to overloading
d) After the ladder has been subjected to impact loading or unusual conditions of use
e) After heat exposure
f) After any deficiencies have been repaired, unless the only repair was replacing the halyard.
g) Before the ladder is placed in service for the first time
American Test Center will perform a thorough test and inspection at your site by a well-equipped two-person crew of non-destructive technicians who are experienced in structural testing. They are supported by a staff of engineers, ASNT NDT technicians and equipment specialists.
American Test Center performs the following tests and inspections:
A. Visual Inspection: A complete visual inspection of:
1. Base Section--side rail condition, rail alignment, rung condition, rung to rail attachment, butt spurs/foot pads, ladder stops, stay poles, toggles, raid guides/lubrication.
2. Second Section--side rail condition, rail alignment, rung condition, rung to rail attachment, ladder stops, pawl operation and lubrication, rail guides/lubrication.
3. Third Section--side rail condition, rail alignment rung condition, rung to rail attachment, ladder stops, pawl operation and lubrication, rail guides/lubrication.
4. Fly Section: side rail condition, rail alignment, rung condition, rung to rail attachment, ladder stops, pawl operation and lubrication, rail guides/lubrication.
5. Halyard Condition--rope size and condition, anchors, thimbles, clamps, pulleys, and adjustment.
6. Roof Hooks--hook size, hook condition, operation and sharpness, hook housing and adjustment
7. General--heat sensor labels, NFPA 1931 certification, electrical hazard sticker, serial number identification, and ladder length marking within 12 inches of butt.
B. Hardness Testing:
(Metal ground ladders only when needed) Heat affected (annealed) areas on aluminum
ladders are not visible to the naked
eye, thus it is necessary to perform a hardness test, or conductivity
test, and a load test to determine its strength.
The hardness service test is performed along the top and bottom of
C. Liquid Penetrant Testing: This test method is used on ground ladders made of aluminum material to verify discontinuities determined by visual inspection.
The following test procedures are performed:
ladder shall be placed in a flat, horizontal position supported under
the first rung from each end of the ladder. Extension and
combination ladders shall be extended to their maximum extended
length with pawls engaged for this test.
1. Procedure of Metal and Fiberglass Ladders
Step 1. The ladder shall be loaded with a preload. The load shall be allowed to remain for at least one minute to “set” the ladder prior to completing the rest of the test.
Step 2. After removing the preload, the distance between the bottom edge of each side rail and the surface upon which the ladder supports are placed shall be measured. All measurements shall be taken at a consistent location and near as practical to the center of the ladder.
Step 3. The ladder test load shall be applied equally to the center span over a specified distance from the center. The test load shall remain in place for five minutes.
Step 4. The test load shall then be removed and the distance between the bottom of each side rail and surface upon which the ladder supports are placed shall be measured. Differences between measurements taken in Step 2 and Step 4 shall not exceed specifications. There shall be no visible permanent change or failure of any hardware.
2. Procedure for Wood Ground Ladders
ladder shall be loaded with a test load applied equally to a center
span covering the specified distance each side of the center. The
test load shall remain in place for five minutes and then removed.
To pass the test, the ladder and all components shall not show
ultimate failure. Any ladder that fails the test shall be removed
from fire service use and destroyed.
B. Ladder Hardware Test (Extension ladders only)
ladder shall be extended approximately five rungs to apply a
specially designed test fixture at each end of the ladder. The
ladder locks must be in the set or locked position. The test load
shall be applied for a minimum of one minute. Ladders shall sustain
this test with no permanent deformation or other visible weakening of
results for each ladder are listed on American Test Center’s test
report forms. After the test, American Test Center technicians
review the findings with the fire department representative and a
signed and dated copy of each report is left with the fire department
representative. Two copies are reviewed and signed by American Test
Center’s professional engineers and one report is mailed to the
fire department and American Test Center retains a copy of each
report on file for 3 years.
American Test Center schedules tests with each fire department to best meet their individual requirements throughout the year. American Test Center has crews located throughout the United States to perform the tests at the fire department location. American Test Center encourages your department to have a representative present during the tests to observe and ask questions. American Test Center is flexible and will modify our standard testing procedures to meet your particular needs.