The holidays are a time of joy and good cheer. The spirit of giving is in the air and along with that comes the urge to decorate, both inside and outside of your home. For those of you who like to hang exterior Christmas lights, please take this list of safety and precautionary measures into account. Avoiding a leaking roof or a trip to the ER will help you to eat, drink and be merry this holiday season.

  1. First things first. Always be sure to check your lights before hanging them. One damaged bulb or frayed wire can prevent an entire strand from working. Failing to check your lights can result in time wasted and additional hazards that could have been avoided. Make sure to untangle all of your strands and plug them in to ensure they light up.
  2. Avoid nailing or stapling lights directly onto your roof. This is a guaranteed way to damage your roof. If shingles are penetrated, they are no longer weather tight. Even worse, these small holes can allow water to leak directly into your home. Consider using plastic clips as an alternative to nails and staples.
  3. If you can avoid it, try hanging your lights without stepping foot on your roof. Not only, does this serve as a safety precaution, it can help prevent any damage cause to shingles and other material.
  4. Avoid overloading your roof with large scenes portraying Santa and his reindeer. These heavier decorative pieces belong in your front yard and not on your roof where they can cause damage to your shingles. If you are determined to compete with your neighbors for the best lighting display on the block, consider lighter plastic decorations for the roof. Again,
  5. When the holidays are over and it is time to remove your lights, the weather is usually less than favorable. Be sure to exercise caution when removing your lights. Clean any snow off and take your time. Avoid yanking on strands of lights and causing damage to your home.

Follow these tips and you will ensure that you stay off Santa’s Naughty List this year. Better yet, you will avoid severe roof damage or bodily harm. If you do experience roof damage, you know who to call. Have a safe and happy holiday season.