Keep Yourself and Your Roof Safe with These Holiday Decorating Safety Tips
With the holiday season approaching, many homeowners will be looking to deck the halls, hanging string lights and other decorations in the coming weeks. That means now is the perfect time for a quick safety reminder—since the last thing you want is to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas injured. At Anchor Roofing, we want to ensure everyone stays safe this holiday season and doesn’t cause any accidental damage to their roof. So to help our readers with their holiday decorating plans, here are our top safety tips for the season.
Learn (and Practice) Ladder Safety
The number one source of accidental injuries during the holiday season is homeowners falling off of ladders. In fact, more than 500,000 Americans are treated for ladder-related injuries each year! While ladders are perfect for giving you access to those hard-to-reach places to hang lights, it’s important to practice good ladder safety. Here are some key ladder safety tips to keep in mind while completing your holiday decorating:
- Use a spotter, don’t get left hanging
- Choose the right ladder based on load capacity and height
- Set up carefully (leave 1 foot of horizontal space for every 4 feet of height, plant the ladder on firm, even ground)
- Move your ladder frequently and don’t overextend
- Maintain three points of contact with the ladder at all times
Step with Care: Protect You and Your Roof
Stringing your roofline with lights may be first on the agenda, but many homeowners choose to add decorations to the roof itself as well. While we recommend keeping foot traffic on your roof to a minimum, if you must walk on your roof, do so with extreme caution. Here are a few tips:
- Wear shoes with soft soles for better traction
- Tread slowly and carefully
- Carry one decoration at a time
- NEVER walk on your roof if there is any moisture present, from previous rainfall or condensation
As you walk, take note of how your steps feel. If you notice your feet slipping, you’re likely knocking granules loose, which can leave your roof more vulnerable to damage.
Plan Ahead (with Your Feet on the Ground)
One of the most overlooked holiday decorating safety tips is to plan ahead before you get started. It’s amazing how much safer (and faster!) it can be to decorate your home if you’ve plotted out where every item will go and how you’ll get it there.
Get out your string lights and check that the length is appropriate for the space you intend to hang them. Test them out, replace any bulbs as needed, and check for frayed or exposed wires. Make sure you have a good place to plug in—an outdoor-safe outlet with a GFCI.
Rather than troubleshooting your decorations while standing on a ladder or your roof, you’ll be much safer planning your next move with your feet firmly on the ground.
Steer Clear of Nails and Staples
The top cause of roof damage while decorating for the holidays is improperly used nails and staples fastening lights and other decorations. Nails and staples should never be used to hang string lights, especially when driven into your shingles or gutters.
When it comes to safety for your roof, the best holiday decorating tips are to avoid nails and staples at all costs and opt for specially designed plastic clips instead. These are perfect for hanging lights and are widely available at any hardware store during the holiday season.
Schedule a Roof Inspection Promptly After the Season
Even if you follow all of these holiday decorating safety tips, there’s still ample opportunity for your roof to be damaged in the process of hanging or removing decorations. The best way to ensure your roof is still in excellent condition is to schedule an inspection with Anchor Roofing after removing your decorations.
Our friendly, professional roofers will thoroughly examine your roof to assess its condition, then recommend any repairs that may be needed before April showers arrive. So stay safe this holiday season, and keep your roof protected!