Tis’ the season to be jolly and festive – and part of that festive spirit can include brightening up your home with twinkly Christmas lights. Perhaps you’re planning on out-doing your neighbours’ outdoor decorations this year, or want to add to the lights you already have up to further impress your children? Either way, outdoor Christmas lights can be dazzling and fun – but they are only enjoyable if you don’t get hurt putting them up! We’ve put together some safety tips to make sure adding Christmassy lights to your roof is a safe and smooth process.
The more you plan before-hand the less time you spend rearranging lights whilst on your roof and the safer you’ll be. Draw up a layout plan and ask yourself where are each set of lights are going to go and do all the bulbs work? Plug lights in on the ground to check if they work as the last thing you want is to get up onto your roof only to find bulbs need replacing.
Also, double-check if the electrical cords you are planning to use have sufficient capacity for all the decorations you wish to attach to them as well as the circuit you are using from your home – the last thing you want to do is to short-out the circuit after you have all your decorations perfectly positioned!
Step ladders are better if you’re intending to hang lights and decorations from the section of your roof that overhangs the wall, but aren’t a safe option if you’re planning on actually stepping onto your roof. If you need to step onto your roof, an extension ladder that is at least 3 rungs above the roof to make stepping onto the roof safer is a good option. Better still, a multi-use ladder caters to all requirements.
Aim to put the lights up on a day when the weather forecast is dry and allow for lots of time as mistakes happen when activities are rushed.
3) Wrap up warm if it’s cold and wear sensible work boots or sensible and sturdy footwear that are comfortable and non-slip.
4) Extra bodies are a must when you are undertaking work or decorating your roof. Ideally, have someone on the ground, who can get help if you run into any danger or simply help you get lights lined up and pass you tools and equipment you may have forgotten and someone on the roof to assist you if you’re dealing with larger decorations.
5) Did you know one of the most popular ways to get hurt when people are decorating outdoors is to attempt to climb a ladder whilst carrying tools and decorations? Use a tool belt and a rope to lower to the ground and get decorations up to you to avoid accidents.
6) Avoid cheap electrical cords. Instead, use chords that are specifically made for outdoor use and are weather resistant. Check the packaging to see if the decorations and lights meet your outdoor requirements or ask the retailer you are purchasing them from.
Now that you’re all clued up on safety when it comes to decorating your roof this Christmas check out these impressive outdoor Christmas displays from The Telegraph’s photo gallery for inspiration.
Brothers Paul and Lee Brailsford put this festive display up at their mother’s house in Bristol. Credit: Image from The Telegraph.
If you’re more local to where we’re based at Ploughcroft, in the West Yorkshire area, the Huddersfield Examiner has plotted on a map where they reckon the best-decorated houses are located in the local area– perhaps the photos could be a muse when you come to decorating your house?
Derek Highe’s charity Christmas lights in Mirfield. Credit: The Huddersfield Examiner.
No matter how you choose to decorate your home, Ploughcroft wish you a very safe and happy Christmas!
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