By Thomas R. Reich
Rooftop holiday decorations can add a special touch to your home’s outside decor. However, installing these decorations, especially the electric lights can be dangerous. Here are ten safety tips for rooftop Christmas decorations.
Tip one: In order to safely install rooftop Christmas decorations your roof should be dry and free of ice and debris. Prior to installing holiday roof decorations; lights and decorations on your rooftop, clean off the roof with a broom.
Tip two: Make sure that you have a sturdy ladder and that there is someone else home with you in case of an accident. If you are installing lights or other electrical holiday roof decorations, use a fiberglass ladder instead of an aluminum one for safety reasons. Place the ladder on level ground and have another person hold it for extra security.
Tip three: Wear proper footwear. The ideal footwear is one with non-skid soles. A good work boot is preferable. However, any non-slip footwear is acceptable. Do not go barefoot and avoid wearing sandals or flip-flops.
Tip four: Check all holiday roof decorations lights for broken or missing bulbs, frayed cords, and damaged plugs. Plug them in and test them prior to installing on the rooftop. Replace or repair all lights prior to installing them.
Tip five: Use proper extension cords. Only use extension cords that are rated for outdoor use. When installing extension cords for holiday roof decorations, keep them away from sharp edges such as loose flashing or gutters, as these can cause damage to the cords.
Tip six: Only use GFI rated outlets for any outdoor electrical connections. All of your outdoor outlets should be GFI outlets. If you are not sure, have an electrician tell you. Never run the electrical cords into an indoor outlet that is not GFI rated. You could short out the house and it is a fire hazard.
Tip seven: Install all holiday roof decorations in good weather. Avoid windy days. Try to install during the late morning and early afternoon when the daylight is best and your visibility will be better. Avoid installing in the dark.
Tip eight: Wear proper clothing for the weather. Although it can get warm up on a roof on a sunny day, you can still get too cold. Be sure to dress in layers, if you get warm, you can take off a layer. If you get too cold, add a sweater or jacket.
Tip eight: Wear gloves. Work gloves are a good idea. These will keep your hands warm and offer protection.
Tip nine: When installing holiday roof decoration lights and electrical decorations, be sure that all tools you use are rated for electrical work. Use hammers with fiberglass handles and all other tools should have rubberized handles.
Tip ten: This final safety tip for holiday roof decorations and Christmas decorations is to use common sense. Every year many injuries occur that could be avoided. Only use UL tagged electronics, this will ensure that they are safe. Do not overload circuits.