You may not be planning to go all Griswald on your Christmas decorating this year. You may not have so many lights on your home that NASA can pick you up on satellite imagery. But if you do plan to hang lights and deck the halls, there’s always the risk of danger and injury when scaling the rooftops to adorn your home with festive decorations.
You may find it hard to believe, but according to Patty Davis, a spokeswoman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a governmental agency that seeks to safeguard people from consumer-product related risks: “About 200 people a day suffer decoration-related injuries this time of year.” Last year, an estimated 13,000 people were treated in ERs across the country for injuries tied to putting up holiday lights, trees, and decorations, according to the CPSC. In the worst cases, life altering traumas that can leave decorators with traumatic brain injuries and lifelong afflictions. There are many steps you can take to ensure safety and take precautions to ensure you’ll be healthy and present for New Year’s celebrations to come:
Hire help if you can afford it: Especially if you are going Griswald style on your decorations, consider hiring a pro to come out and do the decorating this year.
Stay within your physical abilities and limitations: If you know you have terrible balance or bouts of vertigo, it’s probably best to stay away from scaling a ladder to the second floor of your home to hang lights. Additionally, some medications that thin the blood and regulate blood pressure can make your balance off kilter – as well as increase the risk of bleeding should you get injured.
Keep an eye to the skies and plan around the weather:If you do decide to go it solo and do it yourself, think about the weather and how that factors into your decorating plans. Do you really need to hang lights when it’s 9 degrees with 5 below wind chill? Not only is it unsafe to head out in the freezing cold, braze the ice and decorate – it’s just plain miserable.
Get a grip: Tumbles from roofs often involve ladders, railings, and slippery grips.
- Always have the correct size ladder. Nothing worse than getting a foot away from where you need to be and straining to get to the next rung. Make sure it extends at least 3 feet over the roofline or working surface to give yourself ample room.
- Keep the ladder on firm, level ground. Test it before you scale the height that it holds your weight without shifting.
- Set up the ladder at a 75 degree angle, and away from doors that could be opened, windows you can fall into, tree branches, or power lines.
- Have a friend or family member holding you steady at the bottom. It’s a boring job, but someone needs to do it.
- Make sure your roof can actually HOLD what you plan to put up there, in addition to the weight of a sleigh, a sack full of presents, and one Jolly dude delivering them. A roof inspection will quickly determine if your roof is the one that will ruin Christmas for all the good boys and girls awaiting Santa’s arrival this year.
Give Titan Siding and Roofing a call for a free inspection before it’s too late!