Hanging Christmas lights is an annual task for many people across the country. And while it may seem relatively routine, it can actually be a dangerous job if not performed properly. Let’s face it: the more we do something, the less attention we pay to it. If you don’t believe us, compare how you drove when you first earned your driver’s license to today. That’s why today, we want to revisit the importance of staying safe while hanging Christmas lights.
We’ll be looking at three big categories: general tips, specific tips for electrical concerns, and tips for the physical process of hanging Christmas lights.
General Tips for Staying Safe While Hanging Christmas Lights
Typically, outdoor lights are hung from your gutter system. So if your gutters are already in bad shape (sagging or rusty), we highly recommend repairing them first before hanging Christmas lights from them. If you’re not careful, you could bring your gutter system down if it’s already overloaded.
Also, you’ll want to keep in mind ladder height. Believe it or not, some people try to hang their Christmas lights while standing on top of a painters ladder. Staying safe means more than just using the right kind of cords and clips: it’s about having the right tools to stop you from having a serious accident.
Speaking of tools, if you haven’t already, now is the time to invest in a carpenters belt. You may not be a handyman 11 months out of the year, but when hanging Christmas lights, at least pretend you’re Tim the Toolman Taylor and strap on a belt that has a spot for all of your tools. Your legs will thank us later as you won’t have to climb the ladder as often. Plus, it’s just a good safety measure to have everything you need within arms reach.
3 Electrical Tips for Staying Safe While Hanging Christmas Lights
The first big tip specific to electrical is to inspect your lights. For example, do you have a cat who likes to disappear into your attic from time to time? The last thing you want to have happened is for your feline friend to have chewed on one of your light sets while chilling upstairs earlier in the year. Look over the entire light strand, checking for fraying and ensuring that your bulbs are tightly secured in their socket.
The second tip to remember is to be mindful of extension cords. By now, we’ve all seen Christmas Vacation so we know what can go wrong when a cord is overloaded. The maximum number of strands you’ll want to plug into a single extension cord will depend on its gauge and the wattage of the bulbs. You may want to consider switching to more energy-efficient LEDs for this very reason.
In addition, it’s incredibly important to only use extension cords that are rated for outdoor use. Furthermore, If you have to run them across your yard (say, for example, if you’re lighting a tree by the road), be sure to keep them neatly organized and away from walking paths so that people don’t trip over them.
Finally, a good third tip is to leave your lights plugged in as you hang them. This will give you an immediate heads up if they’ve been damaged somehow while hanging them or if you missed something during your inspection.
Finally, Two Useful Things to Keep in Mind While Actually Hanging the Lights Themselves
First, stick to the plan. You do have a plan, right? We know, it’s easy to get into the spirit of the season and want to keep going and going and going…well, you get the point. Before you step foot on that ladder for the first time, have a good idea of what you’ll be lighting and how the lights will be run.
Last but not least, only sparingly use nails or staple guns. Here at Gainesville Holiday Lights, we have made it a best practice to use professional-grade light clips first for all of our customers. No matter how small or large the job, each client receives clips that are rated to withstand inclement weather. Only if necessary will we use nails or staples.
What’s the Number One Tip for Staying Safe While Hanging Christmas Lights?
That’s easy: call a professional! We’ll keep your feet on the ground while our team of professionals hangs all of your lights each year. With our company servicing your house, you’ll never have to worry about hanging your Christmas lights again!
Contact us today to see how we can help!
Here are some other resources to help light up your holiday season!