“Ladders & Lights: Ladder Safety Tips for Holiday Decorating”
The holiday season is about to be in full swing with many of us decorating early this year pulling our Christmas decorations from the attic and hanging lights on our trees and roofs. But before you set up your ladder and put yourself at risk, remember to follow these important steps to keep things merry and bright.
Initial Inspection: Regardless of how new your ladder might be, always inspect the conditions before climbing. Look for cracks, corrosion or loose parts, and immediately tag and discard any ladder that might be hazardous.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Different jobs require different-sized ladders. While it may be frugal to have a “catch all” size, it’s not safe. Be sure your ladder extends at least three feet above where you need to reach. If your ladder size requires you to stand on the unstable top rung in order to hang holiday lights, it’s time to go shopping.
Know Your Metals: Remember that your holiday lights are just that– lights! They have electricity coursing through them, and need to be handled properly. This means to avoid the use of aluminum ladders. When working with electricity, opt instead for a non-conductive fiberglass or wooden ladder.
No Stretching: Stretching is a good thing before and after a workout, but it can be a huge risk when on top of a ladder. Similar to some cartoon scenarios, if you over-stretch on a ladder, it’s likely to slide out from underneath you, leaving you hanging from the rooftops.
Spread the Word: Before climbing up to the skies, be sure to let your family or roommates know where you’ll be. This way, not only is your risk of being startled lowered, but the chances of your ladder being tousled underneath you by an opening door are diminished.
Proper Positioning: This may sound like the most simple of our rules, but it can also cause the greatest injury. Always place your ladder on a flat, level and solid ground, and try to avoid doorways as much as possible.
Ladder-related incidents lead to hundreds of thousands of injuries each year. Follow the above rules to stay safe, and remember to always call in professionals (that’s us!) to handle your roofing problems.