Stay Safe While Hanging Holiday Lights Outside
Hanging lights during the holiday season can be one of the most exciting parts of setting up decorations. Unfortunately, falling off ladders can cause many injuries during this time of the year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is estimated that over 22,000 injuries resulted from the use of a ladder in 2020. This makes many people wonder how these incidents can be reduced to help each other stay safe.
How to Safely Hang Holiday Lights
A few steps can be taken to help ensure you stay safe while hanging lights:
Verify you are using the correct type of ladder.
Ladders all have the same basic concepts, but they can differ in size, shape and material. A-frame ladders offer some of the best protection due to their size and stability. Most A-frame ladders can elevate users about 4 feet off the ground. They are typically made of lightweight aluminum and offer a good level of rigidity.
Make sure the ladder is firmly on the ground.
Uneven ground and the misuse of ladders are common causes of injuries. When using a ladder, make sure that the ladder is firmly on the ground with all legs touching evenly. If the legs are not even, adjust the pads until the legs are even. Is the ground wet? Is the surface slippery? Can the ground below shift? Are there any hazards that could cause the ladder to fall?
Practice an increased level of safety.
Being aware of your surroundings is paramount to staying safe while using a ladder. When you are setting up the ladder, make sure the ladder is firmly locked. While ascending the ladder, be sure to watch your feet. You should never carry anything in your hands while using a ladder. Use a waist belt as needed.
Additional Holiday Lighting Safety Tips
While hanging lights, be sure that you have all the materials and tools that you need, and that they’re safely secured. Consider attaching lights onto adhesive mounts since they don’t require nails and are considerably safer to install. All lights that are hung outside should be stamped with a UL listed symbol. It’s important to not overload outlets by using excessive splitters and/or extension cords. All extension cords used should be rated for outdoor use. Consider using a switch or timer that can shut off lights while you are away from home.
Read our latest article to learn more about holiday décor hazards. For additional Loss Control guidance, please visit the Plan & Protect safety hub.
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