Holiday Lighting Tips for Outside Decorating  

It seems the holidays approach quickly every year. After Thanksgiving, all the holiday activities begin. It’s a tradition for many people to hang holiday lights outside their house to make their neighborhood cheerful. Both kids and adults find enjoyment in seeing the variety of decorations on display. It’s important to keep safety in mind to ensure your holidays don’t start out with any surprise accidents.  

Safety Tips for Hanging Holiday Lights 

Use the Proper Type of Lights  

When hanging lights on the outside of your house, use lights, extension cords and timers specific for outdoor use. These are built to be weather resistant.  

  • When using an extension cord in potential wet weather, make sure that the connectors and plugs are waterproof. The plug on the cord should also be covered with a rainproof cap. If you have multiple cords to plug in, opt for an outdoor extension cord that has multiple plug outlets to act as a safe alternative to a surge protector. 
  • An outdoor timer is a convenient solution to program your lights to turn on and shut off automatically every day. Not only is this convenient but it can save energy by not having your lights on at unnecessary times during the day. Outdoor timers should also be weather resistant for damp locations.  

Stay Safe on the Roof 

There’s a good chance you might be on your roof at some point during the light hanging process. Keeping safety in mind will help prevent accidents.  

  • Wear proper footwear with good traction to have a solid grip when walking on shingles. 
  • Move cautiously and watch where you step to avoid any tools or objects.  
  • When positioning the ladder, make sure it is on a flat, stable surface on the ground.  
  • Avoid poor weather. Do not go on the roof when it is windy, wet, snowy, or icy as the chance of slips and falls increases.  

Organize your process 

Create a layout plan. Before you start hanging lights, have a layout in mind of which lights you want hung in certain areas. Check to make sure you have enough of each type of light. Make a run to the store to pick up more if you need and grab an extra box just for good measure. It’s a good idea to have an extra box on hand if a strand of lights burns out during the season. It can be tough to find lights after peak season as many stores’ selections become limited.  

Plug your lights in to test they work before you hang them up. Perhaps you accidentally put away a strand that was burnt out last year and forgot about it or the bulbs became loose in the process. Checking them beforehand eliminates any extra work before they are strung up.  

When taking your lights down at the end of the season, take an extra minute to replace any bulbs that burnt out and put the lights away in an organized manner. You’ll thank yourself the following year.  

Tip: Take advantage of a mild fall day to hang your holiday lights before the cold Wisconsin weather sets in. Don’t worry, you can wait to plug them in until closer to the holidays.  

Rural Mutual believes in keeping Wisconsin farms, families and children safe. Reach out to a local Rural Mutual agent to make sure you’re protected.