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Holiday Decorating Safety- Ladders & Lights

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Safe Decorating Tips & This Seasons LED Christmas Lights:

We all have one; it leans chilled in the far, dark corner of the garage awaiting its winter debut each year. The Ladder.

Adjacent the ladder is a highly prized holiday decoration wadded into a tangled mess. The Lights.


WARNING: DO NOT PULL THE LADDER OR THE LIGHTS OUT OF THEIR HIDING SPOTS UNTIL YOU HAVE COMPLETELY CONSUMED A MUG OF HOT CHOCOLATE WITH MARSHMALLOWS. IT IS NOT VERY WELL KNOWN THAT SUCH A BEVERAGE WILL ALLOW FOR PRECISION AND STABILIZATION WHILE DECORATING.

 

Safe decorating is an important topic to cover during this season for a number of reasons. Ask yourself how many times a year you get on a ladder? Once, twice maybe? And likely in the month of December? It is good to get a ladder safety refresher as well as reminders about the wad string of lights safety too. 

Below is a list of actions not recommended to do while on a ladder:

Dancing to your favorite Christmas music.
Tying your shoes.
Texting or taking phone calls.
Reading your favorite blog (ICE Co.’s included).
Mixing a batch of chocolate chip cookies.
Jumping for joy is another really bad idea.

 

There are two main types of ladders commonly used. Any Guesses? That’s right, stepladders and extension ladders. Each comes with its own guidelines for safety. See below…

 (Stepladder on the left. Extension ladder on the right above.)

General guidelines for all ladder types:

  1. Make sure that working parts move properly and that all connections are secured.
  2. Never test a ladder by jumping on it. This could damage or weaken the ladder, or you may slip and fall.

 

Please remember the following while using a stepladder:

  1. Fully open the stepladder and firmly lock both spreaders. Never climb a closed stepladder. It may slip out from under you.
  2. If you need to adjust the ladder throughout the course of the job, you should remove your tools or use a proper accessory to secure them in place.
  3. Never stand or sit on a pail shelf. It is not designed to carry your weight. The pail shelf may break or the ladder may tip.
  4. Don’t climb on the backside of a single sided stepladder. It is not designed to carry a person’s weight.
  5. Don’t stand or sit on a stepladder top. You could easily lose your balance or tip the ladder. Ladder tops warn users not to sit or stand on them.

 

Please remember these while using an extension ladder:

  1. Always check that the locks are fully engaged.
  2. Always check the shoes are firmly placed level, and on non-slippery surfaces.
  3. Always set the ladder up at the correct angle. Use a 4 to 1 ratio. Meaning for every 1’ the ladder base is set away from the building there needs to be 4’ of vertical length to the upper support point.
    For Example. If the ladder is set 3’ away from the wall then the vertical distance before

 

Now that you are aware of the safety precautions for ladder use, please see the following reminders for stringing up your lights safely as well.


 (Incandescent lights on the left. LED lights on the right above.)

  1. Check each string of lights of any signs of damage, perhaps caused in years past, such as stripped wire casing, damaged sockets, broken lamps. Take the time to do this before you find yourself in trouble.
  2. Please note there should be no more than three strings of lights end to end before it reaches a power source. If you overload the lights it is a fire hazard, likely will blow a fuse, and could cause a fire. Just don’t do it.
  3. Consider swapping out the old incandescent Christmas lights for LED lights. They are cooler in temperature, will last longer, and save electricity.
  4. Always turn the lights off when you leave your house or are going to sleep. 

 

We touched on two areas of decorating safety- rather than writing a novel on it below are links to some of the areas we did not cover in this refresher.

Think LED & UL Listed for Lights
www.safetyathome.com

10 Things to Keep the Season Safer
www.safetyathome.com

Holiday Fire Safety
www.safetyathome.com

Video Showing Tree Moisture Matters to Keep Tree Fires at Bay
www.usfa.fema.gov


Thanks for taking the refresher course! Feel free to spread the word and don’t forget to enjoy the decorating process. After all it only comes once a year.

ICE Co. Signing Out.
Power. Current. Grounded. 



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