Tips for Safely Hanging Outdoor Christmas Lights

Hanging enough Christmas lights from your roof to blind your neighbors is a favorite holiday tradition for most. Be careful when you’re up on your ladder: One misstep and you changed holiday plans from turkey and dressing to bandages and body casts. Therefore, before recreating Clark Griswold’s 5,000 twinkling lights on your own merry and very bright house, follow these safety tips to hanging outdoor Christmas lights.

  • Start With a Plan

Ask yourself these questions before climbing on the roof.

  • Do you know how you want your display to look?
  • What kind of string lights do you want?
  • How many string lights are needed for your design?

The more you can determine safety on the ground, the easier it is to implement on the roof.

  • Can you do this?

Before dragging out the ladder, evaluate your health and physical abilities. If you have any type of balance issues or medication that increase risk of bleeding should an injury arise, take a break from climbing ladders this year.

  • Survey the Weather

The best time to hang Christmas lights is when it is not wet or cold outside. The more comfortable the weather the better the installation process will go. Climbing a slippery ladder onto your roof can be dangerous and cause the biggest worry this holiday season: falling.

  • Check Your Light

Before climbing onto the roof, plug in all lights to check bulbs are working and replace burned out bulbs. Never use damaged or frayed cords for the possibility of damage to other Christmas decorations and electrical fires.

  • The Perfect Ladder

Some of the most common roof falls involves a ladder. Make sure your ladder:

  • Extents at least 3 feet over the roofline
  • Is placed firm and level on the ground
  • Supports your weight
  • Sets up at a 75 degree angle
  • Is away from all doors that could be opened or power line

Properly expecting your ladder before hanging anything from your roof can not only protect your life but your roof’s life as well.

  • The Buddy System

When using a ladder, make sure to always have a spotter to hold ladders to prevent tipping. While on the ladder make sure you stay grounded in the center of each ladder rung.

  • Hanging Lights

Using plastic clips to hang Christmas lights is the safest and best option. Plastic clips are easy to install and remove from shingles and gutters. Using the traditional nails or staples can puncture your shingles or gutters; even the smallest hole in one shingle can bring moisture to seep in and cause roof damage.

  • Finally – Flip the Switch

Your lights are up and ready for the grand showcase! Grab yourself a cup of hot coco and a Christmas cookies for the big reveal – you have earned it.