Just in time for warm weather, here is a list for the procrastinator to reference in order to safely take down their Christmas lights.
Remember, there are services available to assist you in this work, if you choose. However, many homeowners prefer to do it themselves to save money, be sure their materials are handled gently, and to protect their house.
The advice falls into a couple of broad categories including avoiding electrical shock, avoiding accidents and incidents, and setting yourself up well for next year.
Avoid electrical shock while taking down your Christmas lights
- Work in daylight, so you are not depending on the light from the lights you are taking down.
- Unplug the lights before removing them
- Check for damaged lights, cords and plugs before you touch them or remove them
- Stick to the manufacturer’s instructions for securing and removing lights from your hooks, screws, nails, or other items
- Do not take down wet Christmas lights if it can be avoided, even if they are unplugged
Avoiding accidents and incidents while taking down your Christmas lights
- Cold weather can cause frostbite and hypothermia. Dress warmly and make sure someone knows your whereabouts
- Do not take down your Christmas lights py pulling, jerking, or swinging it like a jump-rope. These actions can break the wire, take you and your ladder off balance, or pull you or the lights in a new and unexpected direction, perhaps causing a dangerous fall
- Clear the space of any obstacles
- Start at one side and work toward the other side (don’t start in the middle)
- Keep away from pets. They don’t understand ladders and Christmas lights and may see the wires or ladder as a toy or plaything, or may just get caught up in them.
- Use ladders to reach the higher places
- Don’t eat or drink while working with lights, and especially not while working on the ladder
Set yourself up well for next year
- Set out a dropcloth or blanket below your workspace. This allows the lights to fall or be dropped on a softer surface, reducing breakage and loss
- Clear the space where you are working of any obstacles so they don’t hit or carom off of something unexpected
- Work with a partner if possible, to reduce the amount of dropping of bulbs and decorations
- If lights were wet when you took them down, let them dry before packaging them
- Check the lights before wrapping them up for the summer
- Wrap cords around a christmas light tree form, large magazine, or other rounded shape. Folding wires makes them prone to overheating or shorting out.
By following these tips, you will have a safe and quick, hospital-free experience taking down your Christmas lights.