Avoiding the Clark Griswold
Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) estimates 5,800 people per year were treated in hospital emergency rooms for falls associated with holiday decorations. More than 50% of these injuries were caused by falls from roofs or ladders while decorating holiday lights outdoors. With the holidays upon us, the itch to put up hundreds of feet of white lights grows exponentially, but safety and precaution should not fall short.
Allslopes Roofpros, expert roofing contractor in Northeast Ohio, gives you a few tips to keep you and your roof safe while decorating during this holiday season.
In order to save yourself some time on the ladder and the effort needed to put the lights on the roof, there are several things you can do before you start climbing.
- Check for bad bulbs, lights that flicker, and frayed wires or lights that flicker. These could be signs of electrical damage and are a potential fire hazard.
- Untangle all strands of lights
- Make sure there is no damage to your ladders and they are on stable, flat solid ground
- Make sure to only use extension cords rated for outdoor use
- Do not extend beyond the natural reach of your arm to hang lights (this is how most falls happen)
Your lights are untangled and you are safely up on your ladder ready to hang those stringy white lights that your wife insist are better than the classical multi-colored bulbs. Be sure to have a the plastic clips to attach the lights to your gutters, shingles, and eaves. They are designed for easy install and removal and are available at your local home improvement store. Using these clips instead of nails and staples minimizes any risk of damaging the wiring on the lights, or wearing down the insulation coasting, which could become a fire hazard. It also prevents punctures on your shingles and gutters. Even the tiniest holes can potentially become a much bigger issue by allowing moisture to seep in.
If you are planning on using any other rooftop fixtures, be sure they are securely installed using sand bags and zipties. You can also use the chimney or other solid structure for support. But try to minimize the time you spend walking on your roof, too much time can cause serious damage. Also ensure that you are wearing sneakers or safety shoes with a solid grip, especially during the winter months, ice and snow can increase your risk of slipping and falling.
Unless you enjoy having holiday lights up year round, what goes up, must come down. Avoiding pulling on the lights to remove them, even if you use the clips. It can cause damage to the eaves, gutter, or shingles that you have fixated the lights to. Follow the same safety procedures as when you put the lights up.
There you have it. No slips, no falls, no damage to your roof, and your holiday lights are the best looking ones on the block.
If you find you are in need of any roofing service in Cleveland, Ohio or in the Northeast Ohio region, check out Allslopes Roofpros, reputable roofing company and fast growing leader in the Northeast Ohio roofing industry, for your roofing needs.