Your Christmas lights are beautiful, and they should fill your family and your neighbors with joy this holiday season. Since the results are beautiful, what you might not expect is back pain and endless amounts of frustration, as the task itself can be less than pleasant.
Follow these safety tips to install all of your lights with minimal stress:
Plan Your Project Ahead of Time
Before you put a single light up, make a list of all of your existing holiday decorations. It’ll help you stay organized, and you can make a trip to the store without forgetting one set of lights or some garland, which will require a separate trip and waste your time.
With your list in hand, take a walk around your property. Visualize where you’re going to hang your holiday light strings. By developing a plan ahead of time, you’ll minimize how much time you spend adjusting your decorations later.
Test First, Install Later
Installing a string of holiday lights requires climbing up and down ladders for about 15 minutes. Imagine spending all of that time only to realize that your lights won’t turn on, and you can’t figure out if a bulb is broken or if an inline fuse is destroyed. You have to spend another 15 minutes to tear everything back down, but you could have saved yourself a headache by simply plugging in the lights first. At the very least, you’ll find out if a string can be repaired or salvaged for parts without wasting your time.
Avoid Endless Strings
As a general rule of thumb, don’t connect more than three sets of lights together. Additional strings increase the risk of a short and can even throw your circuit breaker, which will put a quick end to your holiday cheer. To protect your home, use a surge protector on any outlet with multiple light strings.
Automate Your Lights
Millions of families go on vacation during the holidays. If you’re going to be out of town for more than a day, consider using automatic timers with your Christmas lights. Burglars often look for homes with unlit holiday light displays, which is a sure sign that nobody’s home. Many timers come with batteries, and they’ll continue keeping track of the time during a power outage. When power is restored, they’ll turn your light display back on.
Set your timer to turn the power on around 5 p.m. and turn the power off by 11 p.m. or midnight at the latest. You’ll save electricity by not leaving your lights on 24 hours a day, and you’ll still look festive (and protect your home from burglars).
Never Hang Lights Alone
Now comes the hard part. Once all of your lights are in good working order, try to wait for a day with beautiful weather. You don’t want to climb up and down a ladder that’s slick with rain, and you certainly don’t want to rest it in soft mud. Install lights during the afternoon when there’s still plenty of daylight.
Unfortunately, homeowners don’t have the same kind of equipment that professional holiday light installers have access to for the safest installation. Don’t hang lights by yourself if you need to use an extension ladder. You could easily break a bone if you fall while installing lights on the second story. A spotter can help stabilize the ladder and call for help if you do fall.
Don’t want to bother with the onerous task of installing your holiday lights this year? Give us a call for a free quote.