• Bob Schisler

Decorating Your Home for the Holidays? Protect Yourself with These Ladder Safety Tips

Decorating your home for the holidays can be fun, but without proper safety precautions, it could end very badly. Every holiday season, thousands of homeowners end up in hospital emergency rooms due to mishaps that could have been prevented.

If you want to make your home the envy of the neighborhood without putting your safety at risk, a few preparatory and ladder safety tips can make a world of difference.

Here are some smart ladder safety tips for holiday time -- or any time of year.

  • Test Your Lights on the Ground Do not wait until you are perched on the ladder to find out that a strand of lights is not working, or an extension cord is not working. Check your lights, power cords and everything else you will be using on the ground, where it is safe.

  • Check Your Ladder for Safety and Stability Even if you have used the ladder before, check it for safety and stability before you start climbing. Check each rung carefully, looking for damage that could put your safety at risk. Make sure the ladder is placed on a stable level surface, and never use the top of the ladder as a step.

  • Move the Ladder as You Go It is tempting to lean into space to tack down that last strand of Christmas lights, but doing so could throw you off balance and increase the risk of a dangerous fall. Take a few minutes to climb down from the roof, move the ladder to another stable surface and climb back up.

  • Lay Out Everything You Need You do not want to climb up and down the ladder more than necessary, so lay out everything you need before you climb aboard. Wear a tool belt to keep everything you need close at hand and double-check to make sure you have all your tools and equipment.

  • Clean Your Roof and Gutters Before You Start Hanging Lights No matter how simple or elaborate your holiday decorations, starting with a clean roof is essential. Take the time to clean out the gutters, scrape away any moss and clean the hanging surface carefully. Cleaning your gutters will make holiday decorating easy, but a clean drainage system will also protect your home long after the holidays are over.

  • Watch the Weather Forecast Holiday decorating will be more fun when you are not freezing, so keep an eye on the sky and check the local weather forecast. Choose a bright sunny day so you can see more clearly, and make sure you start early enough that you will finish long before darkness falls.

  • Keep Plenty of Plastic Clips in Your Tool Belt You should never use nails or staples to hang your holiday lights, as doing so could damage the electrical connections and create a fire hazard. Use plastic clips explicitly designed for holiday lights, and make sure you have plenty of those clips in your tool belt.

  • Use a Spotter on the Ground No matter how good you are on your ladder, it is always a good idea to have a spotter on the ground. Your ground-based spotter can help you arrange the tools and supplies, assist with testing the lights and help you find stable spots for your ladder. Just as importantly, having a second person with you will allow you to get immediate assistance if there is a problem.

Decorating for the holidays is a time-honored tradition for many families and a great way to bond with the people you love. Light up your home and make the neighbors jealous - just be sure you do it safely!

How about we hang your lights for you? We can even clean your gutters while we’re there. Give us a call – 301-662-0533!

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