10 Holiday Roof Decorating Safety Tips
‘Tis the season for plenty of holiday decorations. For most, that means decorating homes with lights inside and out. When it comes to adorning your roof with decorations, you’ll want to be careful. After all, it’s the winter, and that means ice, snow, and nasty temperatures. The last thing you want for the holidays is to fall off the roof and hurt yourself, so pay attention to these holiday decorating safety tips to keep you safe and sound—and your house as festive as ever.
1. Choose Good Weather Conditions
This time of year brings in snow, ice, and nasty winter winds for lots of homeowners. Use your common sense—don’t climb onto your roof when the weather makes this task dangerous. No matter how much safety equipment you own or how many people are on the ground spotting you, it’s never a good plan to walk around on the roof in poor weather conditions.
2. Follow Ladder Safety
Once you begin working on setting up the roof decorations on a mild and temperate day, remember that safety doesn’t stop at just the weather conditions. Follow all of the standard ladder safety rules like making sure the ladder is firmly planted on even ground, maintaining three points of contact at all time, and ensuring that the ladder is stable and of good quality before you climb.
3. Have a Spotter
Whether you’re cleaning out gutters, inspecting shingles, or putting up holiday roof decorations, always have a friend, family member, or neighbor spot you from the ground. Should anything happen while you’re decorating your roof, your spotter can help you out by making sure you’re safe.
4. Avoid Power Lines
You may think that you can navigate easily around surrounding power lines and poles, but if you’re wrong, the consequences can be deadly. Power lines near your trees or roof mean that you should keep away. When decorating your roof, keep yourself, your ladder, and your decorations plenty far away from those power lines.
5. Use Clips to Secure Decorations
It might seem easier and faster to install lights and decorations with the help of a hammer, but this method will cause much more harm than good. Hammering nails into your roof will certainly damage the shingles. The shingles are the first layer of defense for a roofing system, and once your hammer in nails, the penetration can invite water into the layers underneath. Water exposure is never your friend, especially in a roofing system. Take care of your roof and use clips designed for securing lights to its surface instead. This will save you costly repairs—or an even costlier replacement—down the road.
6. Use Heavy-Duty Extension Cords
It should go without saying that you definitely don’t want to use old, damaged, or overloaded extension cords while decorating your roof for the holidays. This also includes extension cords that aren’t designed for outdoor use. You don’t want your holiday to include a house fire, which could be the case if you aren’t using appropriate outdoor, heavy-duty extension cords for your roof decorations.
7. Use UL Approved Lights
The majority of holiday roof decorations are lights. It’s tempting to go for cheap lights, especially if you’re needing a lot of strands for a festive light display. However, cheap lights that don’t carry the UL approval can lead to shortages and safety concerns like a fire. UL stands for Underwriters Laboratory, which regulates and inspects all kinds of products and sets high safety standards for consumer use.
8. Use GFCI Outlets
Speaking of avoiding fires this season, be sure to plug all of your outdoor lights (or inflatables) into circuits that are GFCI. GFCI stands for ground fault circuit interrupters. These outlets prevent electric shock by helping to break differing currents of hot and neutral wires. Not only does this make it safer for you, but these GFCI circuits help protect your home.
9. Don’t Overload Your Outlets or Extension Cords
Avoid Clark Griswold’s overstuffed outlet in Christmas Vacation and keep your family and home safe this holiday. Only use three sets of standard lights per extension cord—and remember, that extension cord should be designed for outdoor use!
10. Double Check Lights
A tedious task is checking your lights and all of the little bulbs across the many strands, but keep in mind that by doing so, you can ensure nothing will spark and worse case, start a house fire or cause electrical shock. Investigate your strands by searching for frayed wires, cracks in the bulbs, or missing bulbs with exposed sockets. If a strand qualifies for all three problems, it’s best (and quicker) to replace the strand in its entirety. Doing this each year will make it a less annoying task for the next.
We have qualified professionals to replace your old roof with a brand new roof. With the new roof, you’ll get triple layer protection, exceptional wind resistance and stunning design that will increase your home value and curb appeal tremendously. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today.