No matter what holidays you celebrate, if you take the Clark Griswold approach to decorating your home’s exterior–that is, every nook and cranny trimmed in lights and holiday cheer–you need to keep safety top of mind. The most recent data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates more that 15,000 injuries related to holiday decorating were seen nationwide in emergency departments between November and December 2012. Injuries included falls, lacerations, and back strains. Fire department response is also on the rise during this time of year due to such issues as faulty wires and overloading of electrical sockets. To keep your holidays merry and bright, follow these safety-first decorating tips.
- Always use the proper ladder type and height when hanging outdoor decor. Don’t use makeshift risers, such as stacked patio furniture or plant pots, to give you the leg up you need.
- Wear dry, slip-resistant footwear on ladders to avoid falling while ascending and descending.
- Avoid being knocked off your ladder when hanging decor over doorways by locking the door or hanging up a sign.
- When using, never climb above the recommended rungs, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for ladder use, and always making sure the correct points of contact are made with the ground.
- If bad weather moves in, including rain, heavy winds, and snow, put the ladder-required decorating on hold.
- Check the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label to make sure you are only using outdoor lights outside.
- Before hanging lights, inspect for frayed or bare wires, loose connections, and cracked sockets. Repair damage or replace light sets before using.
- Fasten outdoor lights using hooks or insulated staples–never nails, tacks, or other materials that can stress the wires.
- Only plug outdoor lights into ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) sockets.
- Don’t overload electrical sockets, and follow manufacturer recommendations when connecting multiple lights end to end.
- Keep lights and extension cords off the ground, avoiding standing water and snow.
- Steer clear–at least 10 feet–of hanging decorations near power lines.
- Set timers to make sure outdoor lights are only on when you are home and awake.
- When putting up and taking down decorations in cold weather, dress properly with gloves, hats, and layers, to avoid frostbite and getting sick.
- Watch out for icy areas around the home. If needed, lay down salt or sand, and make sure gutters are clear.
- Avoid overexertion when working in the cold. Take things slow, listen to your body, and drink plenty of fluids. Even in the winter, you can become dehydrated.
We Are Here When Disaster Strikes During The Holidays
A&J Property Restoration, DKI is a full-service restoration company. We are experts in mold remediation, emergency fire and water restoration, and sewage cleanup. We are also a commercial cleaning services company specializing in tough cleaning projects and offer carpet, upholstery, and tile cleaning. If you have a difficult cleaning project and you’re not sure who can take care of it, give us a call.
A&J’s emergency response team will help get you back on your feet as quickly as possible with a unique combination of expertise and compassion. We are available 24/7 at 800-727-8990 as your full-service emergency and non-emergency damage restoration company if your home, business, or commercial buildings experiences a disaster this holiday season around Madison, Middleton, Sun Prairie, Waunakee, Portage, Milwaukee, Brookfield, WI Dells, Fort Atkinson, Watertown, Oconomowoc, Waukesha, West Allis, and surrounding Dane County Wisconsin areas.