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Roof Safety Tips for Holiday Decorating

Published on Thursday December 1, 2022

Roof safety tips.

The holidays are in full swing — and for many homeowners, that can mean only one thing: hauling out the strings of lights and turning your home into a show-stopping, fuse-blowing winter wonderland as seen in any of the holiday classic movies. However, make sure you don’t forget about holiday decorating safety as you get into the holiday spirit.

Santa Claus makes it look so easy to navigate a rooftop with an overflowing sleigh full of gifts and eight sure-footed reindeer in tow. However, holiday decorating can lead to serious, mood-ruining accidents. Keep yourself safe and your holidays bright with these Christmas decorating safety tips

Holiday Injuries and Decorating Disasters

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 160 decorating-related injuries occur daily in the U.S. during the holiday season. Almost half of those accidents involved falls.

Don’t become a holiday decorating statistic. It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but a trip to the emergency room because of a decorating accident will make any homeowners’ holiday a lot less jolly. That’s why it’s important to keep these basic roof holiday decorating safety tips in mind before you start channeling your inner Clark Griswold.

Roof decorating tips.

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

1. Prep Your Materials

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting all the way up to the roof and finding out that your lights aren’t working or getting zapped from a short in the cord. It’s worth the extra few minutes to check your outlets and power sources, as well as your lights and cords. 

Proper organization is one of those holiday decorating safety tips that make a huge difference. It’s a crucial step that roofing professionals take on all roofing projects to ensure their safety.

Untangle and plug in all your lights while you are on the ground, and replace strings that are out or blinking with lights and extension cords rated specifically for outdoor use.

2. Pick a Light, Clear Time of Day

It may be tempting to wait until dusk so you can see the lights all lit up as you go, but don’t. 

Holiday decorating safety 101 requires you to be able to see everything you’re doing and not have to work around in the dark.

Set aside a good chunk of daytime so you don’t feel rushed and check the weather forecast to make sure there’s no rain, snow, ice, or wind expected. You don’t want to wrestle with an inflatable snowman on a windy day or try to secure a plastic sleigh on an icy rooftop.

Holiday roof decorating.

3. Clear the Roof

A clear and clean roof is important for many reasons, including preventing decorating accidents. No matter how many decorations you want to put on your roof, you should always start by checking your roof and gutter system. You’ll need to ensure they’re clear of dirt, debris, leaves, and other materials that could present a tripping or slipping hazard.

Scrape off any moss or lichen, and check for any signs of unwanted animals (squirrels, rodents, birds, insects) who might be looking for a place to ride out the long, chilly winter months.

4. Stay Safe on the Ladder

The CPSC says that 36 percent of holiday decorating injuries are the result of falls, half of which are falls from ladders. In fact, so many people have fallen off ladders while decorating that the CPSC posted guidelines on how to use one safely.

A Few Ladder Christmas Decorating Safety Tips to Keep in Mind:

  • Make sure you have a sturdy ladder designed to support your weight.
  • Set up your ladder on a flat, level surface, such as a driveway or walkway, and away from power lines, electrical equipment, and doors that could be opened
  • Speaking of electrical, a fiberglass or wooden ladder is preferable to an aluminum one.
  • Your ladder should be set at a 75-degree angle, extended at least three feet over the roofline or working surface, and you should not stand on the top three rungs of the ladder.
  • Consider getting a spotter or helper.

Roof safety tips.

5. Gear up for Safety

To minimize the risk of a holiday decorating accident, there are a few guidelines you should follow when it comes to wardrobe and safety gear:

  • Wear shoes with a soft rubber sole for extra traction and keep the bottom of your shoes free of mud and dirt.
  • Use a tool belt to carry your tools and decorating essentials.
  • Don’t be a holiday hero — DIY solutions aren’t always effective. 
  • Finally, know your limits. Don’t get on the roof unless you’ve done it before, you’re in great shape, and you have excellent balance.

Speaking of tools: leave the staple, nail, and glue guns on the ground. You should never use staples, nails, screws, or other penetrating fasteners to attach holiday decorations to your roof. Instead, use removable plastic clips and hooks that can be put back in the toolbox come January. There are even magnetic clips and lights that can easily attach and detach from metal gutters and roof eaves.

While you might feel safe on a ladder, decorating your roof and home, the holidays are a common time for accidents. People who are unaccustomed to climbing on ladders and roofs are getting up there in large numbers. It’s common for ladders to be wet due to weather and roofs can be slick with ice and moisture. Take extra precautions to ensure you stay clear of the emergency room this holiday season.

Is Your Roof Equipped to Handle the Holidays?

If you make the trek up to your roof and notice signs of damage, it might be time for a complete roof replacement. The last thing you want is roof leaks or damages during the cold winter season so get ahead of anything that looks suspicious and keep your home safe.

Contact Long Roofing online to request an estimate for a roof replacement. We build trust and peace of mind into every Long Roofing project.

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