Before crawling up on the roof to string the Christmas lights, you need to know that every year, hospital emergency rooms treat about 12,500 people for injuries, such as falls, cuts and shocks, related to holiday lights, decorations and Christmas trees, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Here are some tips for holiday decorating.
• DO inspect new and old lights for any loose bulbs or protruding wire, broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.
• When using lights outdoors, DO check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use and only plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protected receptacle or a portable GFCI.
• DO turn off all holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
• DON’T staple or nail holiday lights or ornaments onto your roof. Doing so will lessen the life of your roof. DO use alternatives such as light mounting clips which can be found online at http://holidaylighthooks.com/products.html. Clip only to the ends of the shingles or onto gutters.
• DO read and follow all labels/markings on the ladder.
• DO tie the ladder to your gutters to secure it.
• DON’T exceed maximum load rating of the ladder.
*(Insert NRCA Toolbox Talks Ladder Safety PDF)*
• DO make sure your extension cords are the correct type and are in good working condition.
• DO make sure all three prongs are present. The third prong is the grounding pin and it is needed to help prevent shock.
• DO use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to help prevent shock.
Merry Christmas. Be Safe!