Corrosion Warning!

Corrosion can and will damage your ladders.
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Rivet Problem

We found that nine out of sixteen rivets holding the roof hooks to a roof ladder failed due to a corrosive condition under the rivet heads. There was also excessive corrosion on the roof hook itself.

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Screwdriver Test

Surface corrosion may indicate internal corrosion. One way to test the rivet condition is to bump each rivet with the flat head of a screwdriver.

After discussing this problem with the president of the ladder company, it is our shared opinion that annual ladder testing and good maintenance are the keys to safety for your firefighters. Additionally, it is imperative that your ladders be kept clean, dry and free of debris.
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Spike Problem

The spike on the butt of a 24-foot two-section extension ladder became so corroded that the spike pulled right out of the ladder.

We will look for these problems when we test your ladders. Due to the nature of this problem, however, we need you to inspect your ladders between our annual tests. We recommend you check your ladders on a weekly basis – perhaps when you do your weekly truck inspection.


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Rung Plate Problem

This picture shows a "rung plate" with four rivets holding the plate to the ladder beam. Duo-Safety welds their rungs to the beams. Subsequently, a rivet head missing at a rung connection is not critical, but should be repaired.

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Lock Assembly Problem

This picture showing a lock assembly is another critical location. Again the bolts go through the plates that rivet to the beam. Rivet failure means the extension lock assembly may fail.

What To Do

Inspect and examine the rivets on all plates throughout the ladder for corrosion. If you have any doubt, “bump” the rivet heads with a screwdriver or similar object. Should the rivet heads come off, remove the ladder from service and repair it.


With the rivet head missing, the rest of the rivet is still affixed. It's like the nut came off the bolt, but the bolt is still there. The rivet shaft needs to be removed and a new rivet needs to be installed. Not just any rivet... the RIGHT RIVET. For questions regarding this or any topic, contact Fire Service Safety Testing at (866) 788-7373 or Duo Safety Ladder at (877) 386-5377.