One of the most magical things about the holidays is seeing the lights. If you aren’t careful, though, improperly installed lighting can cause injury or an electrical fire.
An important first step is to choose the right lights. Outdoor lights are manufactured to withstand rain, wind and snow, while indoor lights have a thinner insulation that can be damaged by weather, resulting in a fire or electric shock.
Be sure your cords are not frayed because damaged cords can cause an electrical short.
Always start with a decorating plan and avoid hazards to ensure that your project flows smoothly.
Don’t hang your lights near power lines, and keep indoor lights away from space heaters, candles and fireplaces.
Avoid hanging lights when the weather is bad. Climbing a slippery ladder onto the roof can be dangerous.
Wear slip-resistant shoes, climb slowly, avoid sudden movements and make sure to place the ladder on a flat surface.
Always work with a buddy when hanging decorations. Extend the ladder at least three feet beyond the roof edge. Don’t step on the top two rungs of the ladder and ask a friend to hold the ladder to keep it secure.
While climbing, keep your hands free by using a tool belt. Lean the ladder at the correct angle by following this rule: for every four feet of ladder height, space the base of the ladder one foot from the wall. Stand on the ladder centered between the rungs.
Don’t overreach. Always move the ladder when necessary.
Never use nails, tacks or staples for hanging because this can pierce the protective insulation on the lights and create a fire hazard. Use gutter clips especially designed for string lights to secure them in place.
By slowing down and being careful, you can stay safe as you deck the halls this holiday season!