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Safety tips for hanging Christmas lights like a professional

Christmas lights look lovely in the night, but you want to ensure they don't put you in the dark - or in harm's way.
November 29, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
It's that time of year to deck the halls, and although Christmas lights look lovely in the night, you want to make sure they don't put you in the dark, or in harm's way.

Daryll Lee is a professional light installer with years of experience under his belt. Whether or not you decide to hire a professional, he has shared some advice for hanging exterior lights.

"First and foremost, check all your equipment," Lee said. Don't jump on a ladder if it's creaky or too old.

"No. 2, make sure all your lights are working before you get up on the ladder," he said. The less time on a ladder, the better.

"For us, we prefer actually being on the roofs," Lee said. "The reason for that, more or less, is that we have more body contact, or more physical contact, with the surface. And we have an arm and a hand that's kind of reaching over. On ladder, we only have the bottom of our feet on two rungs at the most."

But the biggest mistake often made in Christmas lighting is running too many strands of lights together.

"They don't want to bring out a second extension cord or they want it convenient, all in one plug," he said.

To void popping the fuses on the line, a good rule of thumb is to make sure you're only plugging in three strands end-to-end. If not, Lee says you could find yourself in the dark.

"What they've done is they've blown all the fuses along the way in the lines and they have to be changed out," he said.

It is also very important to inspect the lights every year.

"Look along the lines of the strand, see if there is a break in the strand, if there's a fray. If there is, get rid of it," said Lee.

Follow these tips to ensure your holiday prep doesn't end in a blackout.

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