Attic access ladders are often installed incorrectly. Common issues are found that reduce the ladders strength and stability. Often the ladders are installed at heights that are to short or to high. This causes additional stress on the hinges and lessens the ladders ability to withstand weight. Another common issue with attic access ladders is the hardware used to secure the ladder frame to the ceiling. The manufactures recommend to use 16D nails or 1/4 X 3" lag screws to support the unit and resist the sheering off of screws. As seen in the photo above, many access ladder housings are simply installed with wood screws that do not possess the sheering strength recommended. Attic access ladders can be dangerous especially under the circumstances listed above. In summary access ladders are prone to a number of defects, but mostly from improper installation. Care should always be exercised while using pull down ladders to gain access to the attic space.