There is something about seeing people light up with joy when they see colorful lights or reindeer on your roof. Decorating for the holidays can be a fun tradition, but some exterior decorating, especially with electrical cord, can present a few hazards. There are an estimated 160 home fires that are caused by holiday decorations each year.
Follow these tips or share these tips with your neighbors for safe holiday decorating:
- Have a game plan before you start. – This will minimize time spent on your roof or on the ladder.
- Check for damaged lights or wires before using. – Damaged sockets, broken lights or bare wires can cause fire or shock.
- Use a minimal amount of lights. – Trying to decide whether to add a little extra? Opt for less this year. This will lower your chances of blowing a fuse and save on your electric bill.
- Consider LED lights. – LEDs will stay cooler and lower your energy usage. They’re also more durable than traditional light bulbs.
- Use lights with a UL approved label. – Lights with a UL label mean they’ve passed safety tests by Underwriters Laboratory. Make sure you’re using outdoor lights.
- Decorate in daylight. – Start decorating at an early enough hour so you’re not stuck in the middle of hanging lights when the sun goes down.
- Make sure you’re using the right outlet. You should only plug outdoor decorations into outlets protected by Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) to prevent shock.
- Secure The Roof. You should always make sure your roof is clear of debris and ice so you do not slip or trip over anything. Use a broom to clear the roof before you start installing your decorations.
Know Your Limitations
Who doesn’t want to decorate their own home, but you should always be mindful of your abilities and limitations. You do not want to risk climbing on the roof if you are recovering from an injury or illness, have trouble balancing or take blood thinners. You should also make sure you can handle being off the ground, as a fear of heights may put you at risk for falling.
Consider Hiring A Professional: It never hurts to call in a professional to help install your holiday decorations. A professional is experienced in working on the roof throughout the year.
Keep Your Roof and Yourself Safe
Once you’ve planned your lights, it’s time to focus on keeping your house and roof safe. Whether you like to decorate with strands of lights, or with lifesize reindeer and sleigh figures, there’s plenty of decor options to choose from.
You will want to make sure you’re not adding too much weight to your roof. Be very careful and mindful around the eaves and gutters. It’s common to hang strands of lights on the edges of the gutters, and this is sure to make your home look and feel festive, but make sure your gutters are in good condition before doing so. The last thing you want is for the weight of rainfall and the lights to pull your gutters from the roof.
If you’re unsure of the integrity of your roof or gutters, contact our team of experts at First Out Roofing. You can visit our website for more information or give us a call.