Check Your Surroundings.
Make sure to only place the base of the ladder on a firm, solid surface, with no slippery conditions present. Check for overhead electrical wires, especially if using an aluminum ladder. Avoid using a ladder in storms or strong winds. Do not put a ladder on the other side of a door that could open and hit the ladder unless the door is locked, blocked or guarded by someone. Make sure that there are no unattended children or animals that can accidentally bump the ladder while they are playing. Also, never leave a ladder unattended with children, as the temptation to climb may prove too great.
Choose the Correct Ladder for the Job.
There are many types of ladders available. Choosing the wrong type can be dangerous. You will need to choose your ladder based on how high you need to reach, and how much weight it needs to carry. Never use a ladder that has a lower load capacity than is necessary to carry you and your supplies. Be sure that the ladder you choose is long enough to work from without having to climb higher than the second step from the top on a stepladder or the third from the top on a straight ladder.
Maintain Three Points of Contact at All Times
Always keep either 2 hands and a foot or 2 feet and a hand on the ladder when climbing. Keep your body near the middle and face the ladder, being careful not to lean too far to the side or backwards.