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Hang the Christmas lights, but be safe doing it!

Thursday is Thanksgiving which is always my favorite holiday!  One of the reasons I love Thanksgiving is because it kicks off the holiday season.  With the holidays comes decorating the house.

If you are like me, then you break out your ladder on usually 2 occasions:  Putting up Christmas lights and taking down Christmas lights.

Believe it or not, we see a fair number of light hanging injuries around this time.  With our cold, wet winters the risks hanging lights can be a factor.  Today, I want to highlight a few precautions you can take to avoid any injuries while decorating the outside of your house.

  1. Follow the “4 by 1” rule.  For every 4 foot of extension, the ladder should be 1 foot away from the structure.  So, if your ladder is extended 12 feet, then it should be 3 feet away from the structure.  This will provide a solid base for the ladder.
  2. Don’t lean. Move the ladder to where you are hanging lights, don’t lean sideways to reach.  When you lean sideways, your base of support changes and this can cause you to fall off the ladder or cause the ladder to slip out from underneath you.
  3. Use the buddy system. Its never a bad idea to have a spotter or someone to hold the ladder while you are hanging lights.
  4. 3-points of Contact. At all times, have both feet and at least one hand in contact with the ladder.  This will ensure you are as stable as you can be on while on the ladder.

We can all aspire to be Clark Griswold, but none of us should put ourselves at more risk doing it.  Have fun hanging your lights and if you are just not into it, you can do what I am doing this year: Christmas Spotlight.

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