Christmas Lights Safety

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Christmas Lights Safety

Don't be one of the 15 000 casualties of Christmas Decorating

It's that time of year again when hundreds of thousands of people in North America and increasingly, other parts of the world start putting up Christmas lights.

The Christmas lights chore is one of the last bastions of male supremacy as can be seen from the statistics below. Is that why us men haul out the tangled bundles of lights, wires, sockets, extension cords every year, vowing to pack them away neatly after Christmas but forgetting yet again?

Perhaps if women achieved the same level of equality in Christmas lights hanging as you have in other areas, fewer households would be subjected to the annual untangling fiasco.

Christmas lights hanging is a serious, dangerous and sometimes deadly activity.

The US Product Safety Commission reports that in 2013 there were 15 000 injuries related to Christmas decorating of which 34% were caused by falls from ladders.

In another report, the CDC states that 62% of those injured were aged between 20 and 49, 43% were caused by falls from ladders and victims were 40% more likely to be male.

Christmas Lights Safety

  • Use Tested and approved lights – check labels for outdoor use
  • Check lights and extension cords for damage to wires & sockets
  • Exercise care when stapling or nailing lights to structures – do not staple through wires
  • Check condition and placement of ladders

Most of these safety tips are common sense however we tend to get careless after years of putting up the same lights on the same houses – that's when accidents happen.

The correct way to position a ladder is with the 1 in 4 rule which will position the ladder at an angle of 75 degrees to the ground. That is 1 foot or 1 meter horizontally away from the wall for every 4 feet or meters of vertical height from the ground to the point on the wall at which the top of the ladder rests.

Brian Petersen

Now go out there, untangle your lights from last year, create a Christmas Lights masterpiece and be safe.