With the holidays well upon us, you’re likely tasked with the joy of decorating the home. From stringing up lights to adding Santa figures to the front lawn, there’s lots to do in preparation for the holiday season. However, don’t rush through the tasks – there’s a way to do it all safely, while protecting your home’s exteriors like siding, roofing, windows and decking.
Here’s a checklist of what you should do prior to decorating so that you can ensure a safe experience.
Inspect All Lights and Decorations
It’s a good idea to inspect all lights and decorations prior to putting them up. This way, you can troubleshoot any issues without being out in the cold or up on a ladder. Throw out any strings with cracked and frayed wires or broken sockets. Test all old light strings and replace burned out bulbs.
Make sure lights and decorations are designated for outdoor use. This should be clearly marked on the label.
Look for UL Certification on Lights
Make sure your extension cords are in decent condition. They should read “UL-rated” which means they are meant for indoor or outdoor use. Check outdoor receptacles to ensure the ground fault interrupters don’t trip. If they keep tripping repeatedly, you should probably just replace them.
You should also use UL-rated clips or hangers when hanging lights outside. Don’t use nails or staples, which can not only damage the wiring and increase the risk of a fire but will also cause damage to your roofing shingles and siding. You should also take lights down within 90 days. If you leave them up all year, squirrels can chew through them and weather can damage them.
Use Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCIs)
You should be using GFCI outlets because they react faster than circuit breakers or fuses, preventing serious electric shock and reducing the risk of electrical fires. All outdoor holiday light installations should be fed from GFCI outlets. Outdoor lights not plugged into approved outdoor extension cords can cause a fire.
Also, don’t overload extension cords, which can also cause fires.
Use Ladders Cautiously
Injuries from falls during the holidays are very high. Nearly 5,800 people are treated each December in hospital emergency rooms for injuries arising from falls that involve hanging holiday decorations. On top of that, 4,000 people per year are treated for injuries associated with extension cords, with half of those injuries involving fractures, lacerations, contusions, or sprains as a result of tripping over cords.
While you’re up on the ladder, be mindful of overhead power lines and take all precautions to avoid them.
Lastly…Enjoy the Holidays!
Contact Hi-Tech Windows & Siding
Now’s a perfect time to start thinking about your spring home improvement projects, such as a new roof or a new deck. Contact us now at 800-851-0900 to get the ball rolling. From our family to yours…Happy Holidays!