Preventing Falls While Hanging Jingle Bells
It’s that time of year again, and with a quick glance out the window, you can see the Jones’ pulling their Christmas decor out of the garage. In your rush to keep up with the Jones’ this holiday season, be sure to read our list of tips for preventing falls and check it twice before scurrying up the ladder with your lights.
- Check the Ladder. Make sure your ladder isn’t damaged and that all brackets, rungs, rails, and braces are in good condition. Similarly, be sure to use the appropriately sized ladder and never stand on the top rung.
- Be Ready To Wait. Never attempt to hang Christmas lights when it’s raining, snowing, or windy. We live in Colorado; wait 15 minutes until the weather clears.
- Clear the Roof First. If there is snow or ice on the roof, clear it away before hanging your lights.
- Test Your Lights Before Hanging. It’s easier (and safer) to test and change bad bulbs before they’re strung along the eaves.
- Use Reliable Extension Cords. As with your lights, inspect your extension cords for damage. If the cord is damaged, replace it with a new one. Remember, a new cord is far cheaper than a new home.
- Hire Help. Enlist a neighbor friend, spouse, or older child to help you. This will speed up the process, and if you are injured, they can call for help.
- Wear Solid, Comfortable Shoes. Never climb a ladder or step onto your roof in shoes that don’t have good tread. This will establish the firm footing you need to spread Christmas cheer.
- Skip the Booze. Save the eggnog for after the decorating is complete. Alcohol and ladders are a deadly dangerous combination.
- Don’t Go “Griswold.” It’s a funny movie, but in real life, installing too many Christmas lights can overload your breaker box and cause a fire.
- Hands Off the Gutter. You may think standing or holding your gutter is safe, but the fact is that it can’t support your weight.
- Level Your Ladder. Going back to the beginning of our list, make sure the ladder is placed on a solid, stable foundation. Preventing falls means never erecting a ladder on ice, gravel, sand, or muddy soil.
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