(November, 2012) ─It’s a crisp fall afternoon, and you decide today is perfect for hanging holiday lights. Out you go, ladder set with lights in hand. You climb to the roof, string the lights, and flip the switch. What? No lights? With a little pre-planning and helpful advice from the experts at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives (www.outdoorlights.com , what starts as a festive holiday activity should end as a safe holiday tradition.
Consider this, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), hospital emergency rooms treat about 12,500 people for injuries from falls, cuts and shocks – all related to holiday lights, decorations and Christmas trees. Thinking about lining the walkway with candles to stay safe? Think again, as the CPSC warns that candles start about 11,600 fires annually resulting in 150 deaths, 1,200 injuries and $173 million in property loss.
“Putting up holiday outdoor lights is a terrific way to enhance your home and add to the festivities of the season,” say Kurt and Sandy Chillas of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives. “My biggest piece of advice is to take some time to plan and create something that will you enjoy. Don’t be afraid to do something different than what your neighbors are doing, as long it’s in good taste and in the spirit of the season.”
The Outdoor Lighting Perspectives experts, with experience in professionally hanging more than 4 million holiday lights along with garland, link lights, and lighted wreaths for more than 5,000 homes across the nation annually, recommend the following to help transform an outdoor area into a holiday wonderland as safely and efficiently as possible. In short, SHINE ON:
* S KETCH: Develop a plan. The experts sketch out a drawing, take before & after pictures and file away for next year’s décor. Having a plan is not only a time saver, but it also eliminates the amount of time spent on the roof or on ladders – a safety hazard for both pros and homeowners, alike.
* H ANG: Make time. Plan on at least a few hours for roof hanging. If it’s the first time you’re executing a plan, keep it simple. It’s easier to add more lights on another day, but get the basic outline complete first.
* I NVESTIGATE: Test and retest . Test each strand of lights early and before attempting to hang. Don’t test on the fly.
* N O SHORTCUTS: Use the right stuff. Only use exterior extension cords, and use more than one. A common DIY mistake homeowners make is connecting all of the lighting through the same line and outlet. Doing so can blow fuses and lights.
* E NCASE: Tape it up. Tape up connections so that outdoor elements don’t affect the circuitry. For example, exposed extension cords are trip hazards for both homeowners and visitors.
* O NLY USE CLIPS . When hanging lights and decorations, use clips, not nails. Clips hold better and don’t destroy the home’s exterior.
* N EVER GO SOLO. When mounting roof lights, work in pairs. Have one partner hold the ladder (on hard ground in an area free of small rocks, divets or holes) so that it stays secure. This reduces accidents and gets the job done quicker. And when in doubt, call in the experts. Professional lighting installers can install lights on high peaks and places that typical home ladders can’t reach. They can also develop a plan to be implemented season after season.
Generally, the Outdoor Lighting Perspectives holiday lights designers advise that less is more. Use an elegant and simple holiday lighting scheme and don’t go to extremes. Using too many colors or fixtures can look overbearing and take away from what you are trying to accomplish.
For more information about Outdoor Living Perspectives and to find a location near you, visit: www.outdoorlights.com .
About Outdoor Lighting Perspectives
Outdoor Lighting Perspectives is America’s largest full-service outdoor lighting specialist and part of the Outdoor Living Brands franchise company based in Richmond, Va. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives has redefined the outdoor lighting category through the application of innovative lighting designs and eco-friendly technologies. OLP installers offer no-obligation nighttime demonstrations in the latest concepts in outdoor lighting to enhance the beauty, safety, and security of a home. For more information, visit http://www.outdoorlights.com