strand of multicolored Christmas lights

The winter season has quickly approached and so has the need for snow removal and Christmas light installation. The holiday season is the coziest time of year filled with warm drinks and delicious food but it also comes with some less appetizing seasonal work like shoveling snow and hanging lights. Read these five safety risks and tips to consider before you hop on a ladder to hang your holiday lights:

tangled Christmas lights

1. Inspect your lights and wires.

Before you take the time to hang your Christmas lights, inspect each strand for dead bulbs and frayed wires. Exposed wires pose an increased risk for electrocution and fire, so strands with exposed wires should be thrown out. To avoid causing frayed wires, use plastic clips instead of staples to secure your Christmas lights.

outlet electrical fire2. Protect your outlets from the elements.

To avoid electrocution and fire, ensure all outdoor decorations and timers are plugged into GFCI outlets which are designed to cut off power if they come in contact with water. Weatherproof outlet covers are an inexpensive solution to protect your outlets and prevent them from being exposed to water or snow.

A ladder is positioned against a wall.

3. Follow the ladder safety 4 to 1 rule.

Every year, over 10,000 people are injured from decorating for Christmas. Avoid a trip to the emergency room by following the ladder safety 4 to 1 rule. When using an extension ladder, the base of the ladder should be placed so that it is one foot away from the building for every four feet of height. For example, if you have a 20 foot tall building, the ladder should be placed 5 feet away from the wall. When climbing a ladder always keep two feet on the ladder, wear non-slip shoes, and have someone there to help.

A circuit breaker panel

4. Avoid tripping your breakers.

Be mindful of how many strands of lights are connected from a single outlet because it could cause your breaker to trip. The number of strands you can connect varies greatly from incandescent and LED bulbs. LED bulbs are a little bit more expensive up front but use much less energy and are more cost effective in the long run. If you are using a single brand and type of light, the package will typically tell you how many sets you can safely string together. If you are using several types of lights and decorations, take a look at this comprehensive guide for formulas and more details.

An outdoor timer hangs near a light display

5. Set timers on your lights.

Timers allow you to get the most out of your effort after you have spent valuable time hanging your lights and decorations. You can simply set your timer and forget it which eliminates the hassle of flipping a switch and adds a little bit of magic when your lights flip on with the sunset. Timers also eliminate wasted energy and money so that your lights don’t accidentally run all night or day. For less than $15 you can elevate your decorations to the next level!

Want to avoid the hassle and pitfalls of hanging your holiday lights this year? Contact Senske today for a free estimate for a custom light installation for your home or business with our commercial lighting and decor services.

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