It is nearly the holidays! And while we won’t be singing “Let It Snow” in South Florida, we do enjoy decorating our homes for this festive season – especially because we won’t freeze while doing it!
Whether you prefer multi-colored bulbs on your roof or twinkling icicle lights in your trees, decorating can be quite the undertaking. If you will be hanging holiday lights for the season, we have a few quick tips which will help the process to go more smoothly and to keep everyone safe and merry.
Tips for Hanging Holiday Lights
- Begin by assessing your current inventory. Pull out all of your strings of lights from last year, and test them one by one. If any wires are frayed or sockets are broken, it is best to discard that particular string, as it could pose a safety hazard.
- Lay out the lights where you want them to be displayed – on the palm trees, across your home, or on bushes. Measure the length of lights you will need with a tape measure, and determine if you have enough lights for each area. If not, you can go purchase them before you start installation, so you will be able to complete the job at one time. Expert seasonal decorators recommend using shorter strings of lights rather than long ones – in the event of a light going out (thus the whole string going out) it is easier to identify and replace the culprit.
- Only heavy duty, weatherproof electrical cords which are manufactured for outdoor use should be utilized. If at all possible, use GCFI outlets to prevent electrical shock and shorts. If one does not exist, you may wish to consider calling an electrician and having a permanent GCFI outlet installed for many years of holiday decorating safety!
- For maximum safety, turn off the electricity while you are installing holiday lights, motion decorations, or inflatables. Sometimes electrical items which are stored for long periods of time can spark, malfunction or short out, and this may cause injury.
- Experts recommend never attaching more than three strings of lights together.
- Never nail or tack electrical wires to your home. Use coated fasteners or hangers. If you hang them from your gutters, keep them lightweight. Be sure to space the fasteners close enough together that no one section of your roof is supporting too much weight, or you could be looking at fixing sagging gutters!
- Be sure that your ladder is securely balanced – in fact, recruiting a friend or family member to help you stay steady is always a smart idea. Here’s a Tip: Visually inspect your roof when you are hanging holiday lights. You may spot broken tiles or debris which need attention – and the dry winter months are the best time to take on those repairs!
- Be sure that extension cords do not touch any electrical wires, and that they are not kinked, twisted, or tangled. They should also be tucked away from where people walk so as to prevent people from tripping.
- It is important to turn off your holiday lights every evening before going to bed. If you are away (or don’t want the responsibility) set your lights on a timer to ensure a safe night’s sleep.
It may not feel like a traditional Christmas season outside, but your home can be just as festive as you like. Just keep these convenient tips in mind, and hanging holiday lights in warm weather may become one of your favorite traditions. Remember, if you notice any problems with your roof, soffits or gutters, give Kingdom Roofing a call. Winter is a great time of year to repair your roof!