Putting up holiday decorations might be a tradition at your home, and doing so safely will keep you and your home safe. Recovering from an injury isn’t on anyone’s agenda for the season, especially if it’s largely preventable by using caution.
Stand on Chairs
Chairs are inherently unsafe when you’re going to hang holiday decorations. It may have a weakened seat that you could fall through or the rungs may be loose. Most people are unaware of the condition of theirs until they start to wobble or make creaking sounds. If you don’t have a ladder, consider buying or borrowing one.
Even more unsafe than standing a chair is using a rickety ladder. If it wobbles, repair or replace it. Don’t expect someone to be able to hold it securely while you use it. It’s fine to be there as a spotter, but you may not be able to stabilize the ladder if it starts to fall or tip.
Be Careless about the Roof
Ascending the ladder to put holiday decorations on the roof could be the most dangerous activity you do all year long. If you’re not comfortable with the idea, hire someone to do it for you. Unless you’re fit and nimble, it’s easy to take a dive off the roof.
There may be areas on your roof that need repair, which makes them unsafe for walking. To be sure of its condition, visit the attic with a strong flashlight and look for signs of mold or water damage on the roof deck and the fascia. Scheduling a professional roof inspection is also a good idea if you suspect there’s a problem.
Even though you may have made the switch to LED lights, it’s still not good to plug too many strings of light together. Read the tags or boxes for your lights to see how many you can join to stay within a margin of safety. If you use high voltage decorations, be sure you plug it directly into an outlet or use the shortest extension cord possible to power it. The cord must also have the same amp rating as the decoration. Look on the decoration to find its amps, volts, or watts and match the cord accordingly. If you’re unsure about this, ask for help at the store.
It’s better to say no or find an alternative to decorations that you think will compromise your safety. Roofing experts, electricians and professional decorators are available almost everywhere to help you enjoy the season as risk-free as possible.