Light up your Life Safely this Christmas
November is already over and we’re into the Christmas month, a time when most of us will be hauling our festive decorations down from the attic in order to deck the halls with boughs of holly! That means Christmas lights – yay. Everybody loves Christmas lights, or fairy lights, as they’re also known. In the past couple of decades decorating the house has moved outdoors in a big way, with homeowners adorning the exterior of their home (and garden) with brightly coloured lights that delight kids and adults alike.
Indeed, while most of us hang a few strings of lights around the windows or in a couple of bushes or trees in the front garden – there are people in towns across the UK who go the whole hog and turn their homes into a veritable Disneyland. It’s usually the same homes every year – people who are so smitten with the Christmas spirit that they festoon every inch with twinkling lights and sparkling decorations, stuffing into the mix a few extra items every year in a bid, perhaps, to make sure they can be seen by the International Space Station! Locals get to know where to go for the best light show in town and it’s become part of the Christmas tradition to drive or walk around to look at these winter wonderland illuminations.
Whether you just put up a few decorations or you’re in competition with Jean Michel Jarre, making sure you are safe and have the correct equipment to access the areas you want to decorate is essential for Christmas success. By Christmas success, we mean sitting at the dinner table tucking in on Christmas day, rather than spending the day in a hospital bed as a result of a fall from height or other incident. Don’t forget – you’re not only working at height when decorating for Christmas, you’re often working with electricity too.
The first step is to make sure your ladder is long enough, strong enough and in good working order. Before you begin, place the ladder on a firm, even surface and check the ground beneath every time you move the ladder along during the lighting process. Make sure that the ladder you use enables you to reach the highest point you need to without having to stand on the top step. Get a family member or friend to hold the ladder while you do the work.
If the lights you’re using are mains powered, then it’s essential that you use a weatherproof outdoor extension lead – cable reels usually have the longest leads and are also likely to be weatherproof. If you’re using battery powered lights, then try to use rechargeable batteries if possible, which means that you’ll need a battery charger too. Make sure that the batteries are located easily accessible locations so that you don’t have to climb to reach them for a recharge.
The easiest, quickest (and therefore safest) method of hanging the lights is by using specially designed gutter hooks or outdoor decorating clips. The lights will be much quicker to install, there’s no need for any tools to be used at height so the whole process will be safer.
Pay attention to safety this Christmas and enjoy the fun in the warm glow of your Christmas lights.