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How to Remove Outdoor Holiday Lights Safely


When you remove your out- door lights after the holidays are over, do it safely. First, suit up. Wear thick gloves and protective glasses before doing any electrical work at home. Taking down holiday lights is electrical work. Unplug. If your strands of lights are still connected to an outlet or to other strands when you start dismantling your holiday dis- play, you could get a shock. Plus, unplugging the lights first will help preserve them for next season. Be gentle. Don’t tug, pull, rip or yank your lights; you could damage them. Take the lights down one section at a time, and use one hand to loop the strands around your elbow. Look up. If power lines hang close to your roof, note if they are touching or tangled in those wires. If they are, do not touch them. If they’re in the clear, use extra care when removing them so your


hands, tools or lights do not touch. Then, call your electric cooperative and report that low-hanging wire. Power lines should not be close enough to your roof that you can touch them. Inspect. Check for broken bulbs, fraying wires, staples— which you should never use to hang lights—and other damage. Take care with damaged lights and wires. Once they’re off of the house and the trees, throw dam- aged strands away. Consider that the weather was probably a little bit warmer when you put the lights up in No- vember than when you take them


down in January. That could make you want to hurry the chore along so you can get inside where it’s warm. But if you rush, you could damage the shrubs and trees where your lights have been hanging for more than a month. Take care not to rip leaves or blossoms. Think about hiring a roofer or landscaper to hang and remove your holiday lights next year. They have the proper gear and training to safely climb onto your roof and up your trees and to handle elec- tricl wires.


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