Homeowners Urged To Take Safety Precautions When Hanging Christmas Lights | Missouri News

COLUMBIA – Hanging Christmas lights on buildings and homes can be dangerous work. Hiring an experienced professional can save homeowners the trouble of going to the emergency room.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are about 160 decorating-related injuries every day on average during the holiday season. Almost half of the incidents involve falls, the commission reports.

Jeremy Trimm works for Salter Lawn Service LLC in Ashland. He hangs Christmas lights on homes all over Missouri. Trimm said it’s important for homeowners to be extra careful if they decide to hang their home lights on their own instead of hiring a professional.

“The biggest tip would be to make sure you have a good ladder and someone you can rely on to hold the ladder for you. A lot of people don’t use them properly, which is why there are so many ‘accidents with the ladder, “Trimm said.

People need to know what time of day they are putting lights on a roof. Morning dew can make the roof surface more slippery than later in the day, Trimm said.

“Do not try to get on the roof early in the morning, when there is dew, because any dew [can] make it like ice cream, so it’s best to wait until at least 9 or 10 in the morning, ”Trimm said.

Trimm recommends that people use a cushion on the roof, to move around more comfortably when installing lights.

“We had the sofa cushions which are really nice if you get off your ladder to get on the roof,” Trimm said.

A wrong move on a roof can be detrimental. Trimm said people who plan to turn on lights on their own during the holiday season should be very aware of their movements while on a rooftop.

“Don’t stretch too much when trying to light up the shingle when you’re already on the roof. Don’t try to work too much over your head when you’re on the ladder, ”Trimm said.

Trimm said people should also be aware of the potential fire hazards that could be created if lights are improperly installed.

“Don’t plug everything into one extension cord, cut wires, or run electrical tape around it. It’s just too dangerous, it’ll start a lot of fires that way,” Trimm explained.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, people should not use more than three sets of standard size lights per extension cord. People should only use lights that have been tested for safety.

Trimm said Christmas light installers should focus on taking their time when installing lights on a roof.

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Susan W. Lloyd