Fail Safe Testing provides Fire Departments with quality Ground Ladder Testing services. Meeting the rigorous requirements of NFPA 1932-2010, Fail Safe follows a standardized process to ensure that all ground ladders are professionally checked for safety. We test ladders from 5 feet to 45 feet, and of various types and manufacturers.

Each ladder type is subject to a series of tests and inspections to give you confidence that a ladder will not fail when it is needed most – during a fire. Fail Safe tests all types of ladders, including:

  • Roof Ladders
  • Combination Ladders
  • Folding Ladders
  • Extension Ladders
  • Multi-Purpose Ladders ("Little Giants")

Tests are done on all metal, fiberglass, and even wood ground ladders.

Any ground ladder which is used in the fire service and sold to the fire department as a Fire Department rated ladder, is subject to a series of tests per NFPA 1932-2010 guidelines. These tests include but are not limited to:

  • Visual Inspections – We inspect each ladder for a multitude of physical problem areas including rusting, corrosion, cracks, bad welds, loose bolts on guides, poor lubrication, and more. In fact, for non-NFPA rated ladders (OSHA compliant) like the 'Little Giants' most departments carry with them, we perform the same visual inspections.
  • Horizontal Bend Test – We subject each extension, combination, roof and folding ladder to an extended weight test. With the ladder extended, we simulate the weight of a firefighter(s) climbing up or down the ladder. We test each ladder with the required weight and time to ensure that the ground ladder performs as per manufacturers’ specifications, and has a deflection within NFPA guidelines.
  • Roof Hook Test – Each roof ladder has its roof hooks checked for sturdiness, operability, and pressure. All mechanisms are checked for ease of clearance and opening. Also, each roof hook is tested under 1,000 pounds of pressure to ensure that the hooks remain stable and do not bend when subject to extended pressure.
  • Hardware Test - For each extension ladder we inspect and test the pawl locks on each section of the ground ladder. For smaller ground ladders, there may be only one set of locks, but for larger ground ladders, there will be two sets of locks. Each lock is visually inspected, the locking mechanism is tested to see if it moves freely and engages the rungs, the release mechanism is functional, and finally the lock is tested with 1,000 pounds of pressure to ensure that it can hold a weight load even greater than it will be subject to during a fire. The locks must hold in place to ensure that a ladder will not collapse when it is used.

Our highly trained staff works with ground ladder manufacturers to gain a full understanding of the operational qualities of all types of ladders. Our staff works quickly, efficiently and professionally to help ensure your firefighters are using tested equipment in the field.

We can test the ladders on each piece of apparatus while other members of our crew are testing the fire hose. This way we can limit the amount of down time each apparatus has, and help to quickly and professionally complete the work. Just as you’ve come to expect when Fail Safe tests your fire hose, the same level of quality and timeliness is applied to each ground ladder test.

  • Ladder Supports
    All ladder supports are made of steel and are adjustable to ensure ladders are resting on a level surface for testing.
  • Ladder Setup
    All ladders are setup to suspend from each ladder support at a distance of exactly 6" from each end of the extended ladder.
  • Roof Hook Test Prep
    The Roof Hook Test places a plate uniformly across the hooks to apply equal pressure when each hook is engaged. Each engaged hook is tested for metal and hardware fatigue.
  • Roof Hook Test
    Applying 1000 pounds of hydraulic test weight to the ladder.
  • Manufacturer's Labels
    All ground ladders are checked to make sure appropriate manufacturer's labels are present and that NFPA standards are disclosed.
  • Horizontal Bend Test
    All extension ladders are tested with special equipment to ensure that the locking mechanisms can withstand 1000 LB's of pressure.