Ladders and Light Bulbs in a Domestic Setting
In our latest News Roundup article which covered the news in May, we couldn’t’ fail to mention one of the most momentous events in the UK – the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. It was reported that as Prince Harry and his bride, Meghan, left the evening party given by Prince Charles at Windsor’s Frogmore House, a ladder tied on to the car clattered behind the happy couple. Those in the know claim that William used a ladder, rather than the usual tin cans, in order to poke fun at Harry who recently fell from a ladder whilst changing a light bulb!
This means that even the royals are daft enough at times to take unnecessary risks when it comes to working at height! There is strict health and safety at work legislation here in the UK governing the use of access equipment when working at height. However, when it comes to working at height in a domestic setting (and don’t forget, any work done above ground level is considered to be work at height). We’ve all at some point or another grabbed a chair to stand on whilst reaching a high cupboard or changing a lightbulb – some of us shorter people are quite adept at jumping up onto the kitchen counter to reach the top cupboards (with the more daring standing before jumping down again, yelling “Geronimo”!). Most of us would not dream of taking risks in the workplace and are quite happy to obey the safety regulations but when we get home, it can seem as if we’ve left our common sense at work and we take risks that are really unacceptable.
This must be what happened when Prince Harry fell off a ladder, but at least he had a go and knows how to change a lightbulb, even if not how to do so safely! A recent poll by a fire and security company has revealed that a worrying 5 out of 10 adults in the UK don’t know how to change a bulb without electrocuting themselves. So, let’s take a look at how to safely change a light bulb in a domestic setting:
- Switch off the electricity at the light switch, making sure your hands are dry.
- Use a secure ladder – if you’re worried that you cannot complete the task, ask somebody for assistance if possible.
- Make sure the old light bulb is cool and handle any compact fluorescent lamps by the plastic base.
- Unscrew the old light bulb to remove it.
- Make sure that the watts of the replacement bulb don’t exceed the rated watts of the lamp holder or shade.
- Screw the new bulb in and descend from the ladder.
- Switch the light on to make sure the new bulb is working properly.
A secure ladder for this type of work in a domestic setting would be a step ladder. Before using any ladder, make sure it is in good working order, does not show any signs of wear and tear and is sufficiently strong to bear your weight.