It’s hard to believe that December begins tomorrow. While a few of us have decided to start decorating for Christmas a few days ago over Thanksgiving; more lights, inflatables and trees will start to make their way into and onto our homes this weekend.
Hanging and displaying holiday decorations can be a family tradition in many households, but that doesn’t mean it comes without danger and injury. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are around 12,000 holiday-decorating ER visits each year. Follow these tips so you can enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas without an injury.
Wear proper clothing.
It’s wintertime and that means temperatures are cold and there may even be snow on the ground. It’s important to wear proper clothing when installing Christmas lights. Keep bare skin protected with hats, gloves, pants, jackets and boots. Take breaks to go inside and warm up if you’re feeling chilly.
Inspect decorations before hanging them.
We hope your Christmas lights are not in a twisted ball, but if you must unravel them, take time to check the lights for cracked or frayed cords, missing bulbs or other damage. Throw away damaged strands. Additionally, check to make sure your lights are appropriate for indoor or outdoor use.
Secure your ladder.
Falling off your ladder is not a good way to start December, so it’s key to secure it before climbing up. Place the legs of the ladder on level ground and far enough away from the base of your house so it’s not a straight incline to the top. For additional safety, have someone hold the ladder while you’re on it for more stability.
Don’t walk on your roof.
It may be tempting to walk on the roof to secure lights to avoid having to move your ladder from side to side, but this is a dangerous approach. Your roof may be slippery from water or ice, or your shoes may not have proper grip. Hiring a professional to install lights is a good alternative.
Use appropriate extension cords.
Heavy-duty extension cords that are made for outdoor use are the safest option for your holiday light display. Try to limit three strands of lights per extension cord to avoid overloading them.
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