Do you hang Christmas lights before Thanksgiving or after? Whichever category you fall into, it’s the holiday season – it’s time to swap out the pumpkins, hay bales, and bats for twinkling lights, inflatables, animatronics, and so on.
Hanging Christmas lights on the exterior of our homes can be dangerous, depending on where you string the lights. While some people choose only to light up bushes and light poles, others hang lights from their gutters or roofs, lighting up the perimeter of their homes. If you fall into the ladder, you know how risky it can be to hang lights up high. Keep reading for tips for safely hanging Christmas lights on roofs and gutters so you can stay safe this holiday season.
Beware of the Weather
Our weather can be tricky here in Kansas City, especially during fall and winter. One day it’ll be sixty and sunny, and the next day it’ll be in the 30s with snow. Choose a day that has good weather for stringing up the lights. A bright sunny day without any chance for precipitation is favorable for hanging Christmas lights versus a day when rain or snow is expected.
In addition to keeping an eye on the weather, pay attention to the conditions of the ground beneath the gutters and roof, as well as the gutters and roofs themselves. Slick walkways and gutters and roofs with ice can cause slips, especially if a ladder is placed near or around slick areas.
Use a Wooden Ladder
When hanging lights, opt for using a wooden ladder. Unlike metal ladders, wooden ladders can’t conduct electricity, so the risk of electric shock is eliminated. Using a ladder made of metal could lead to severe injuries if an electric shock were to occur.
Choose Appropriate Lights
It may seem self-explanatory, but never use indoor lights for outdoor use. Outdoor Christmas lights use bulbs that can be exposed to moisture, whereas indoor lights should not be exposed to moisture. Winter in the Heartland means we could experience snow, ice storms, freezing rain, or even warm days that cause snow and ice to melt – using indoor lights outdoors could damage the bulbs.
Another thing to look for when choosing appropriate lights is the UL listing on the package of Christmas lights. The UL seal found on Christmas light packaging means that it meets the standards of the Underwriters Laboratory and can safely be used by consumers in their homes.
Extension Cord Safety
Whether you’re a Clark Griswold or more standard when stringing up the lights, odds are you have a few extension cords placed around your home to plug in and connect multiple lights to a power source. When everything is plugged into the extension cord and the extension cord is plugged in, make sure to place it high or cover it to keep moisture out. Outdoor extension cords are safe to use outdoors, therefore they can be exposed to the weather. However, they shouldn’t be left to sit in or close to deep puddles and snow.
Use Caution with Incandescent Lights
Some of us have a standing collection of incandescent lights that are years old but have held up well throughout the years. These Christmas lights can provide beautiful lighting, however, you do need to be cautious when it comes to decorating your entire home with them. The general rule is that you should only connect three strands of incandescent lights for safety purposes. If you need more to do the trick, switch to LED bulbs which can handle over fifteen connections depending on the type of lights you’re using.
Gutters & Christmas Lights
If you have traditional, half-round gutters or gutter screens or filters installed on your open-top gutter system, you’ll want to make sure that they’re clean before hanging Christmas lights. Debris inside of the gutters can get heavy, causing them to sag and overflow, and adding Christmas lights will add additional weight that the gutter system may not be able to support.
If you have gutter guards installed, you have a few options for hanging Christmas lights. For one, you could opt to place them on the shingles assuming they’re in good condition. You can purchase shingle clips that are much like gutter clips; they’re intended for safely hanging Christmas lights without causing damage. Next, you could hang the lights underneath the gutter guards by purchasing clips intended for use under a gutter system. Another way to put Christmas lights on gutter guards is to use adhesive clips. Adhesive clips keep moisture out and can be used on gutter guards and can be removed easily without leaving residue.
Though we all love hanging Christmas lights and admire their beauty, safety is paramount. Following the tips above will keep you safer this holiday season and in future ones. Happy stringing up the lights!
As previously mentioned, hanging Christmas lights on half-round gutters can be dangerous if the gutter system isn’t clean. If you’re looking for a permanent solution to clean gutters, consider installing the K-Guard System. The K-Guard Leaf Free Gutter System has a curved hood that keeps all debris out, only allowing water to enter the system. K-Guard eliminates the need for you to clean your gutter system for good while offering superior protection against drainage issues.
Our gutter product is so durable and practical that it comes with three-lifetime warranties, including a lifetime no-clog, paint, and no pull-away warranty, so it’ll never become damaged. K-Guard is guaranteed transferable for the life of the home!
Contact our team today or call (913) 380-1616 to schedule your free estimate for installing the K-Guard System. We offer our gutter installation service to homeowners across both Missouri and Kansas including, but not limited to, the following locations: Kansas City, Overland Park, Topeka, Olathe, Shawnee, Independence, Lenexa, and Lee’s Summit.