Everyone loves seeing Christmas lights on display in the neighborhood. But being on your roof is dangerous work. Safety is super important during this festive tradition.
According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, approximately 2,500 people nationwide are injured each year hanging Christmas lights. While most of those injuries are minor, others have been serious, and a few have been deadly.
Just because there are dangers doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful, twinkling house for the holidays. Some common sense and responsibility while stringing up your lights will do your body some good.
- Water, ice and Christmas decorating don’t mix, ever. Do not decorate if it’s snowing or raining. Never put a ladder or stool on a slippery or wet surface. A slip is almost always inevitable.
- Never plug lights in if you are near water or ice. Be careful if it’s windy. A gust could knock you off balance and send you straight to the ground.
- Always decorate in full light and watch out for old nails, staples and broken bulbs from years past. They can cause nasty cuts and can also get caught on clothing.
- Never hang over an edge from the roof to hang lights, make sure the ladder you use is wide-based and in good condition to handle your weight and body size and don’t ever stand on the very top of the ladder.
- Outdoor lights should be connected to a grounded outlet. The best option is a GFCI outlet that has a built-in fuse. If there is an overload, the outlet will turn off instead of causing a fire, and, it is hoped, will save the fuses in your bulbs as well.
- If you have a frayed wire in your bulbs, throw it out.
- Never hang lights on a metal tree. The tree can become charged with electricity and cause a shock or the tree can short out the lights and cause a fire.
- Pay attention when you’re on the roof. Get up the ladder and do what you need to do and get down. Don’t stand there and play around with things.
- Always have someone around or close by incase something were to happen to you. The buddy-system works.
- Use clips to attach lights whenever possible. Avoid driving nails into cords or attaching with staples, which can damage the lighting strands.
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