I love Christmas lights! Lots of Christmas lights! I try and have the brightest house in the area, or at least that’s what my husband thinks. It also always seems like I ask him to put the Christmas lights on the roof when it is the coldest and windiest outside. So for him and the rest of you poor husbands that have to put lights on the roof in winter weather here are some tips for staying safe.
The first tip would have to be to try and do it on a day that the weather is good. Wind can cause you to lose your balance and fall. Ice and snow can cause you to slip and fall. No one wants to work with electricity in rain!
Next safety tip would be to test all the lights prior to going on the roof. This way you’re not up there trying to replace burned out light bulbs or finding the one that is causing the entire light strand not to work.
Use a ladder as much as possible so you don’t have to climb up on a roof. Make sure your ladder is set on stable, even ground so it doesn’t fall while you are up on it.
Wear good shoes with a lot of traction. If you have ice or snow, using a pair of shoes made for ice and snow is best. Shoes or boots with worn traction or flat tread will slip on a roof whether it has ice and snow on it or not.
Choose lights that are UL approved for outdoor use. Lights that are manufactured for indoors can catch fire if used outside.
Always do what the manufacturer recommends on the lights. Do not try to over load them but connecting more than is recommended. Not only will you trip our circuits you could also cause a fire.
Use clips made for hanging lights such as gutter clips and trim clips. There are a lot to choose from and are fairly inexpensive. Do NOT use a staple gun to hang your lights. These could smash the light strand and cause it to short out or catch fire.
Make sure the light strands you are using do not have any exposed wires, frayed edges, loose connections, or broken or cracked sockets. Be sure and check this before trying to hang the lights on the roof. Any of these things can cause shock and fire.
Remember that decorative lights are made for temporary use and should be taken down within 90 days to prevent damage caused by weather.
The last on my list of safety is definitely not the last thing you should consider but definitely important. Never hang lights near (or on) power lines or feeder lines. Feeder lines are the lines that go from the power pole to your house.
For more information on these tips and more check out www.ulenvironment.com/ and http://firstaid.about.com/od/injuriesathome/qt/06_xmaslights.htm.