It’s that time of year for hanging lights around the house to celebrate the season! Need some inspiration? Check out our Christmas Light Gallery. But before you drag out the boxes of Christmas lights and grab the ladder take some time to consider these installation safety tips.
- Make sure to use the proper type of Christmas lights. The lights and extension cords need to be rated for outdoor use. LED lights are recommended, as they are cool to the touch unlike incandescent bulbs, which generate most of their energy in heat. This means LED lights are also more energy efficient.
- Inspect all lights and extensions cords before use. Don’t use damaged lighting sets, including those that have unstable connections, exposed wires or broken or cracked sockets.
- For incandescent lights it’s dangerous to have strands plugged in with empty sockets. Be sure that the replacement bulbs you select are the correct size and wattage.
- Before you begin installing, verify how many strands of lights it is safe to connect together. Never connect more than the recommended number of light strings.
- It is best to install lights from the ladder, but if you do need to work on the roof make sure you have the proper footwear on.
- With Calgary’s unpredictable weather roofs can be frosty, snowy, icy or wet. Use extra caution on the slick roofs. Best to hang the lights when it’s nice and bright outside. Not only is it easier and more comfortable to work outdoors in mild weather, but also safer.
- Hanging lights should never do so alone. Get a helper! A stiff wind might come along and blow the ladder away or an unstable ladder might lead to a fall. Accidents can, and do, happen!
- Make sure your ladder is sturdy and inspect the ladder before use. Use wooden or fiberglass ladders when decorating outdoors as metal ladders conduct electricity.
- Make sure to use the right ladder height; ensuring ladders extend past the edge of the roof.
- Use plastic gutter clips that secure the lights safely over the front edge of the gutter. Don’t use nails or tacks to secure your outdoor Christmas lights. Be sure your lights are strung tightly to avoid damage from the wind.
- If installing lights on your trees, do not install them if that tree is in contact with any power lines.
- Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many lights; make sure you have enough extension cords for the amount of lights. Place and secure the extension cords out of the way so they do not cause tripping hazards.
- And always turn off all Christmas lights before going to bed or leaving the house.
If this all seems overwhelming and you think you need help, hire a professional!
Make sure that they are fully licensed, insured and WCB compliant so that you have the peace of mind while they are working on your roof or in your large tree.