Thumbs up for change to the ground ladder standard

Thumbs up for change to the ground ladder standard

The Standards Council of the National Fire Protection Association has approved a tentative interim amendment to the stricter ground ladder testing standards contained in NFPA Standard 1932, “Use, Maintenance, and Service Testing of Fire Department Ground Ladders.”

The 1984 version of the standard requires that 500 pounds of weight be placed in the middle of a ladder when it’s extended between two sawhorses in the horizontal bending test. That’s double the earlier version.

The tentative interim amendment reduces the 500 pounds to 400 for pre1984 ladders up until July of 1994. But departments that test at the compromise weight would be able to allow only two people at a time on the ladders, with a maximum concentrated load of 500 pounds. That compares with three people and 750 pounds in the 1984 version that contains the tougher testing requirement.

The Standards Council had been expected to approve the document in April, but it returned the matter to the originating committee because of a variety of public comment that ranged from calls for lighter loads to calls for sticking with the tougher version.

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