Nothing screams “holiday” quite like twinkle lights lining your roof, but out-decorating your neighbors isn’t worth a broken back. Don’t think decorating is dangerous? Get this: Each holiday season 11,000 people end up in the emergency room due to decorating injuries, including broken bones, cuts and burns. It gets worse. Each year, there are around 16 deaths attributed to holiday decorating attempts gone wrong.
If you don’t think having the brightest house on the block is worth dying for, then follow these tips to make sure your lights are put up safely and you stay firmly planted on your roof:
Not only will you be able to see what you’re doing, it’s much easier to avoid icy spots.
Don’t decorate if there’s a chance of rain, snow or sleet in the near future. You don’t want to be hit with a storm while you’re straddling the chimney!
Dealing with a tangled mess of lights when you’re at the top of a ladder is a hassle and super dangerous. Untangle beforehand to avoid ending up like Mr. Griswold.
There are many types of twinkle lights in stores, and they’re not all meant for outdoor use. Make sure your labels say “outdoor” before hanging them, or you could be decorating your house with a fire hazard.
Place your ladder on a flat surface as close to the house as possible. Even if it looks safe, and you’re following ladder safety rules to a tee, it’s still best to have someone hold it while you climb.
Putting lights on the roof is a two-person job. Things will go faster, plus your partner can keep your ladder steady, hand you tools and feed you tangle-free cord.
Never connect more than three strands end to end (it creates a fire hazard). If you’re hanging more than three strands, start back at the power source with your fourth strand.