Now that Thanksgiving has passed, it’s time for holiday decorating. For some people, outside decorating is a passion. Hopefully your holiday decorating does not take on a competitive nature like that found between the main characters in the 2006 Holiday movie “Deck the Halls,” but if they do, we wish you the best of luck.
Depending on your enthusiasm, external holiday decorations can range in size from simple bush lights to those of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Either way, there are basic safety tips that must be observed in order for you to safely enjoy the fruits of your labor. Regardless of whether you hang a few lights or attempt to light the way for nighttime aircraft, take a moment to read these lighting and ladder safety tips to help keep you safe.
- Plug your lights to a power strip.
- Use an automatic lighting timer.
- Replace bulbs with the right wattage.
- Make sure your light strings are tested for safety.
- Don’t use lights with damaged strings.
- Hang lights up carefully (see Ladder Safety)
- Check the wires to be sure they aren’t cracked, broken or frayed. Do not try to repair broken wires- get a new set!
- Map out where you will be putting up lights and start with the highest points first.
- Use OUTDOOR power strips.
- Make sure outdoor outlets are protected from the weather.
- Do not overload electrical outlets.
- Get a helper, never work alone.
- Check the ladder to be sure it does not have broken joints or cracks that could compromise your safety
- Secure your belt buckle so it does not catch on the rung of the ladder as you climb or decend
- When working with electricity, use a ladder made of wood or fiberglass
- Always face the ladder when climbing up and down
- Make sure any positional locks are secured before getting on the ladder
- Don’t reach, move the ladder
For additional Holiday Safety tips from Homeland Security, click HERE