Holiday Lights – Done Right


Your home will take on a more festive look with the addition of Christmas lights. I’ve got few ideas to make the job go easier.

The first, and most important tip, is to play it safe! Since the lights usually go up high, like on trees and shrubs, or outlining the roofline of the house, this will probably require some climbing. Plan to decorate when there isn’t the threat of rain, snow or sleet.

Use a good ladder, not a barstool or a stack of boxes. Examine the ladder for any flaws. If the ladder is OK, be sure it’s placed on a firm footing. While you’re on the ladder, don’t overreach. It’s a good idea to keep both feet and your body within the two side rails and let your arms do the reaching.

Before you do your death defying climbing act, give all the strings of lights a careful visual check, looking for any bare wires, cracked of frayed insulation, damaged sockets or other problems. Also, be sure to test to see that all the bulbs work. It’s a lot easier to replaces burned out bulbs on the ground than up on the roof.

Use only lights that are specified for use outdoors. Moderation is another consideration. Don’t get so carried away that you overload any circuits. A nightly blackout isn’t all that festive.

In attaching the strings avoid using any fasteners that might remove the insulation around wires. A staple gun is not all that good because if you’re not careful, you’ll go through the insulation, into a wire and cause a short. There are clips you can buy to attach to gutters and other parts of the house that make the attachment process safer and easier.

Where plugs and sockets are connected, they should be protected from rain and other moisture. Plastic warp or electricians tape will work.

For those dare devils that don’t heed our safety advice, we’ll be forthcoming with some festive ways to decorate the cast on your leg.


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