Frequently Asked Questions

Ladders are tools and must be maintained to ensure safe operation. For complete ladder testing information, please refer to N.F.P.A. 1932 which includes a chapter entitled "Service Testing Ground Ladders". Below are some commonly asked questions concerning fire department ground ladder testing and maintenance procedures.


Q. How often must I test my ladders? We are a small fire department.Back to Top
All fire department ground ladders must be service tested at least annually, in accordance with N.F.P.A. 1932.
Q. What tests are required?Back to Top
Refer to N.F.P.A. 1932 - the three basic tests required involve a center load test for ladder strength, a hardware test to verify hardware functionality and strength, and a roof hook test applicable only to roof ladders. These are all defined in the N.F.P.A. 1932 standard.
Q. Who can perform my test?Back to Top
There are numerous testing companies capable of performing fire department ground ladder in-service tests at your facility. However, the tests are designed to make it relatively easy and affordable for a department or group of departments to perform their own tests.
Q. If I test my ladders, do I weaken them?Back to Top
Required periodic testing does not adversely affect a good ladder. We at Duo-Safety have put the same ladder through over 1,000 test load cycles and the ladder still continued to meet the N.F.P.A. standards.
Q. Should we use our Duo-Safety ladder "fly in" or "fly out"?Back to Top
Duo-Safety ladders are all designed for the "fly out" application. Ladders constructed to be used "fly out" should not be used "fly in" as the hardware can project through and be a tripping hazard. For a statement from the factory, click here. Contact our office for further information.
Q. What is the load capacity of your ladders?Back to Top
The load capacity of fire department ground ladders is spelled out in N.F.P.A. 1932. It is generally 750 pounds on any ladder except folding ladders and pompier ladders. This is based ONLY on the fact that the ladder is set at the proper angle of one-fourth the distance to support point out from the base AND is tied off at the top and bottom to prevent slippage AND has been tested for N.F.P.A. 1932 testing requirements to ensure continued structural reliability.
Q. Are ladders field repairable?Back to Top
All Duo-Safety ladder parts are available for field installation. These require a minimum number of readily available tools to accomplish the repairs. Many times, it is not cost effective to repair a ladder and may be more cost effective to replace a section or even to replace the entire ladder.
Q. Are your ladders N.F.P.A. compliant?Back to Top
All Duo-Safety fire department ground ladders meet and/or exceed the requirements of N.F.P.A. at time of manufacture.
Q. Are your ladders equipped with three-quarter inch diameter roof hooks?Back to Top
Yes, since 1984.
Q. Why do we have to change the roof hooks?Back to Top
Older hooks, which were five-eighths inch diameter, will not pass the current N.F.P.A. 1932 strength test.
Q. What labels are required on our ladders?Back to Top
N.F.P.A. now requires 4 (four) heat sensors per each section on a ladder and 1 (one) pair of fire ladder label (danger/electrical/angle indicator) on each base section of a ladder. The Heat Sensors have an expiration date on them and new ones are dated for 5 years. Please contact our office for instructions and proper placement of these labels.
Q. What maintenance is required for my ladders?Back to Top
Refer to N.F.P.A. 1932 Standard on Use, Maintenance, and Service Testing of In-Service Fire Department Ground Ladders. Basic care includes regular cleaning/waxing/lubrication at least annually but ideally after each use at a fire is best. Please refer to our "Ladder Care & Maintenance Booklet" provided free. Contact our office for a copy.
Q. What are your lead times on delivery?Back to Top
Please contact our office to find out current lead times. Generally our lead time is several weeks depending on the time of year.
Q. Can we order special widths/lengths of ladders. We have an older truck - or do we need to buy new ladders?Back to Top
Special widths/lengths are available, however we do charge an extra fee to manufacture special ladders. Please refer to our current production models listed in our catalog - if at all possible please try to rearrange truck mounts etc. to fit current N.F.P.A. models. Please contact our office for fees and instruction on proper measurements needed for replacement ladders.
Q. Why does it cost so much to ship my ladders?Back to Top
Shipping costs are figured by weight and distance the items have to travel - please contact our office if you require help in obtaining the proper information needed to get a freight rate. Duo-Safety is unable to quote freight rates - we are able to provide you with an estimated shipping weight and shipping class and our recommendation on a carrier to your area. Freight costs are also the result of the class we ship ladders at - (as established by the freight carriers) - and damage claims. Please note we make every effort to use carriers that are responsible with our freight, however, damages can occur from time to time. PLEASE ALWAYS INSPECT FULLY YOUR SHIPMENT BEFORE YOU SIGN THE DRIVER'S BILL OF LADING. ONCE THE BILL IS SIGNED - YOU HAVE LOST ANY RIGHT TO A CLAIM.
Q. Do damaged rungs need to be replaced?Back to Top
It is the recommendation from the factory that all rungs be replaced when any rung shows signs of worn/smooth serration's or if any rung is dented, worn through or damaged in any manner. For a statement from the factory, click here.
Q. What does 4:1 Safety Factor Mean?Back to Top
The 4:1 safety factor used in the design and manufacture of ladders today means that the ladder, once in perfect erected position, is really able to support 4 times the 750 lb. specified load (That is 3,000 lbs.) This is a static load only - nothing moving, no shock loads, no dynamic loads. Once a smaller load starts to move on a ladder, the dynamic load increases rapidly.
Q. What is the load capacity of your rungs?Back to Top
Refer to N.F.P.A. 1932, rungs are load tested for 1000 lb each.
Q. What is the load capacity of your roof hooks?Back to Top
Fire service roof ladders are supplied with spring loaded, directionally swiveling and locking hook assemblies capable of 1,000 lb. load per hook/2,000 lb. load per pair.
Duo-Safety Catalog REQUEST A
Pround Members Of:

Fire Apparatus Manufacturers Association National Fire Protection Association International Fire Service Training Association NY State Association of Fire Chiefs Wisconsin Safety Council

We suggest all Fire Departments refer to both the National Fire Protection Association (N.F.P.A.) and the International Fire Service Training Association (I.F.S.T.A.) for complete and proper practices and usage of Fire Service ladders.

National Fire Protection
Association (N.F.P.A.)

1 Batterymarch Park
Quincy, MA 02169
Phone: 1-800-344-3555
Fax: 1-617-770-0700
International Fire Service
Training Association (I.F.S.T.A.)

930 North Willis
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 1-800-654-4055
Fax: 1-405-744-8204