Roof Christmas Light Safety

//Roof Christmas Light Safety

Roof Christmas Light Safety

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the holiday festivities and the magic of everything that comes along with the holiday season. Visits to see Santa, putting up the Christmas tree, braving the crowds on Black Friday, and of course, hanging Christmas lights on the roof. This can become dangerous very quickly if not done properly, especially once the weather starts to get ugly, and if ice is thrown into the mix, festivities could be canceled for a trip to the emergency room really quickly.

Two important first steps to hanging Christmas lights on the roof are to make sure you have all the right equipment. This equipment is an outdoor extension cord that is long enough for what you need, a working GFCI outlet (which will shut down if there is overcurrent), a sturdy ladder that you have inspected to ensure its safety and that is set up to extend at least three feet over the roofline, and yes…the lights themselves, which you should plug in to check for any lights that may be burned out while you still have two feet on the ground. Also make sure that nothing is frayed on the light strings, that the lights are for exterior decorating, and check for testing and safety rating by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL). Cheap isn’t best if they’ll cause a fire on your roof. After you make sure that you have all of these things (even if it takes a couple trips to the hardware store…we never promised this would be easy), you are ready to get up on the ladder and hang the lights. Many professionals recommend a safety harness and either a temporary or permanent roof anchor to attach it to for more safety, but for the amateur Christmas decorator, there are ways to be safe without these items.

It is essential that the holders you use to secure the lights are insulated and that you don’t use tacks or nails to do this so that the lights stay protected and won’t wear out, short-circuit, or fray, which is dangerous and can cause fires. This will also help the lights last longer so that they don’t have to be replaced as often.

Photo credit: Serge Bertasius Photography

Once all the equipment is purchased, checked, and ready to go, the most important things are to secure the ladder, remember to move it along as you move down the roof (don’t lean to hang the next spot of lights), and if possible, have someone at the bottom to help hold and watch the ladder. Don’t leave lights on when nobody is home in case of emergency if the lights need to be turned off, and most importantly, enjoy your beautiful decorations!

By |2018-10-19T05:00:26+00:00October 18th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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