Three Tips for Safely Putting Up Holiday Lights
Posted on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021 at 8:37 am
Putting up holiday lights and decorations on and around the roof of your home or other property helps you share the joy of the season and makes your property look bright and festive. However, there can be danger in those decorations. You should keep several important safety tips in mind to help prevent an accident that may cause you injury or damage your property.
Check Your Lights
Before putting holiday lights on or around your roof, you should always check the light strings to make sure they can be safely used. First, make sure that any lights you purchase bear a certification mark from Underwriters Laboratories or another nationally recognized certification laboratory. This means that the lights have been tested and found safe for use. Uncertified lights and electronic decorations may pose a risk of shorting out, which can spark a fire when lights or decorations are placed on roofs. Also, check the decoration’s packaging to confirm how many strings or decorations may be safely linked together.
Ideally, you should choose LED lights or electronic decorations with LED bulbs. LEDs run much cooler and use less energy than incandescent bulbs, also reducing the risk of igniting a fire.
Before putting up the lights, you should inspect all light strings, bulbs, and wires for any cracks, damaged sockets, or loose, exposed, or frayed wiring. Any decorations that show any damage should be discarded. If you must replace bulbs or string lights and decorations together, make sure that the strings or decorations are unplugged before doing so.
Plan your lights and electric decorations to make sure that you are not overloading any outdoor outlets. Any outlets you use should be protected by ground fault circuit interrupters, which can help prevent electrocutions or electrical shorts. If you must use extension cords, only use those rated for outdoor use.
When placing lights and decorations on and around roofs, ensure that your light strings and decorations are securely fastened. Avoid driving nails or tacks through electrical wires or power cords. Instead, use clips or brackets to secure lights to roofs or gutters. Securely fastening your decorations will help reduce the risk of an electrical fire or damage to your roof from light strings being knocked off by wind and other weather.
In addition, you should also ensure that any lights and decorations or extension cords are placed at least ten to fifteen feet from any power lines. Placing holiday lights and decorations too close to power lines risks causing a short or a fire.
Finally, you should also avoid overcrowding your roof with lights and decorations, so that your decorations and any associated electrical appliances (such as fans to blow up inflatable decorations) have sufficient ventilation and won’t overheat, which may cause damage to your roof or even start a fire.
Exercise Ladder Safety
Always exercise proper ladder safety when putting holiday lights and decorations on your roof. Make sure that you are using a wooden or fiberglass ladder, as a metal ladder may act as a conductor for a live wire. Check the ladder to make sure that it can support your weight as well as any objects you may be carrying. Also, make sure that your ladder is long enough to let you comfortably reach up to your roof. A good rule of thumb to follow is to use ladders that extend at least three feet above your roofline. Only use ladders on even, solid ground. If on an incline, only use a ladder with leg levelers. Stake or secure your ladder to the ground before climbing up.
Ideally, when working on a ladder you should have another person with you. A second person can help hold the ladder steady, which is especially important if you cannot stake or secure it to the ground. Having a second person can also free you from having to carry lights or other decorations with you while you are climbing the ladder, as your partner can hand objects up to you. Carrying objects when climbing ladders disrupts your balance and increases your risk of a fall.
If you have a residential or commercial roofing project or you need repairs for hail, storm, or wear-and-tear damage to your property’s roof, call Kidd Roofing at (866) 671-7791 or contact us online to speak with a roofing professional about your project. We want to discuss with you how our firm can provide you with the roofing services you need. Even when you need emergency work, roofing work as part of an insurance claim, or financing options to afford the cost of critical roofing services, we’re here for you.