No one ever said mixing electricity, ice and ladders was a good idea, but every holiday season, I see enterprising homeowners perched precariously on ladders while decorating their homes for the holidays.
With that in mind, I thought I’d take this time to remind you of some necessary safeguards when it comes to installing and maintaining your outdoor holiday lighting — they’ll only become more useful as snowflakes start to pop up in our Utah forecasts.
Here are five outdoor lighting safety tips to consider long before you flip that switch.
Use LEDs For Fewer Blown Fuses
In the past, it was easy for homeowners to overload circuit breakers by stringing way too many lights together and create a fire hazard — what we jokingly refer to as the Clark Griswold approach.
Today, LEDs offer homeowners a safer and smarter alternative to holiday lighting by using only 15 percent of the electricity traditional incandescent lights use.
Practice Ladder Safety
Ladders, when used improperly, can certainly become a hazard to your health and home. Here’s some ladder advice to keep you safe the higher up you go:
- Use the buddy system.
- Avoid ladder activity on windy days.
- Look up — avoid power lines at all costs, especially on a metal ladder.
- Do not place the base of the ladder on icy, wet surfaces. Even stamped concrete can prove too slick — trust me on this one.
- Always have three contact points on the ladder at all times — two feet and a hand.
- Maintain a proper ladder climbing angle. In this case, 75 degrees is just right. If your ladder angle is too shallow, it can slide out from under you. If it’s too steep, the odds of falling backwards just skyrocketed.
An easy way to test your ladder’s climbing angle: For safety, start out by standing with both feet on the lowest rung. Now fully extend your arms to the rung immediately in front of you. If you are standing straight up, then your ladder is at the correct climbing angle.
Staple With Care
“The more staples, the better.” Is this your motto? If so, you will want to pay attention to each and every staple you use to keep up your holiday lighting.
Staple guns have a sneaky way of sending staples right through wires. And when this happens, pinched or pierced wire insulation may occur, which is a top cause for arcing.
Arcing is the sparking between two wires — something that can heat up slowly over time and cause a trip.
Steer Clear Of Moisture-Prone Areas
For added moisture resistance, Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah suggests using electrical tape on any exposed outdoor plugs — that’s what we do.
Also, keep your plugs and extension cords out of water, gutters, downspouts and any other areas suspect to ice build up.
Leave Roof Work To Outdoor Lighting Professionals
Roofs weren’t designed for people. But sometimes you just need to get up there. Throw in some snow, ice, a pre-lit Santa’s sleigh and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster.
Why not keep both feet on the ground and bring in licensed and fully insured lighting professionals instead?
We’re Your Professionals
Call Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah at (801) 440-7647 to schedule your free holiday lighting consultation, or fill out our simple contact form.
Located in Sandy, Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah serves customers throughout Utah’s residential areas, including Salt Lake City, Park City, Draper and Holladay. Our holiday outdoor lighting portfolio includes projects from Salt Lake County and Utah County, to Davis County and Summit County — and beyond.