Stay Safe When Hanging Your Christmas Lights!
Posted on 4th Dec, 2017 | By Lorretta Tatham
Christmas decorations are already being strung across high streets all over the UK, and increasing numbers of homeowners are taking that as their cue to start hanging their own decorations – resulting in some cheering and at times quite stunning light displays. However, before you go too wild on your own, it’s worth taking a few moments on our blog this week to familiarise yourself with the safest ways to hang your Christmas decorations.
Choosing Where To Place Your Lights
Don’t make the same mistake that many homeowners do – before taking your Christmas lights up the ladder, make sure that they’re designed for the setting in which you’re installing them. That means that if they’re outdoors, you should double-check they’re designed to be out there. If they’re not made to stand up to the harsh winter weather, they could very well stop working – and that’s the best case scenario. (It’s also worth double-checking they’re not frayed when you take them out of storage, for similar safety reasons.)
Once you’ve ascertained that your lights are all safe and good to go, have a careful think about the locations you’re planning to thread them through. The lights or decorations shouldn’t be too close to anything that poses a fire hazard, like candles or fireplaces. The same goes for electrical equipment, such as televisions or video games consoles. Finally, be sure to turn your lights off when you’re away. If something goes wrong and they short out, someone should be on hand to limit the damage – or if necessary, call the fire brigade.
Staying Safe While Decorating At Height
Ideally, if you’re working with electrical decorations like lights and sculptures, it’s a good idea to use a wooden or fibreglass ladder when hanging up your Christmas decorations, as these types of ladders aren’t conductive to electricity. It provides an extra layer of security should anything go wrong, saving you from a potentially nasty or even (in the worst cases) fatal electric shock.
Whether your decorations are electric or not, make sure to hang them carefully. If you can, use insulated holders designed especially to support the weight of such decorations – again, especially if they’re electric – or at the very least, some sturdy hooks that can reliably support their weight.
When you’re up the ladder, the golden rules of ladder safety still apply. (Incidentally, it’s never a bad idea to have someone with you to support you in the event that something goes wrong – and as a bonus, it can be a nice family bonding activity!) Stay centred on the ladder, and keep your hips within the guardrails at all times – don’t overreach! Make sure not to stand on the top two rungs either, as this can also lead to overbalancing.
Here at Browns Safety, your safety is our top priority. The steps outlined above are quite general, but you may well be able to think of more to safeguard your own physical wellbeing as you prepare for the festive season. Whether you’re working on ladders at home or at your place of employment, you may well find it helpful to take our Working At Height course, which covers the basic aspects of ladder safety. You can book your place on the course page itself, or by giving us a call on 01282 615517.
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