Dos and Don’ts for Hanging Holiday Decorations

Thanks to Long Roofing for contributing these Dos and Don’ts for Hanging Holiday Decorations . As we make a turn towards the holiday season, you may already have visions of scarecrows and Santa Claus dancing in your head — and across the front of your home.

Mounted holiday lights lend a magical glow to your outdoor decorating and make your home look extra-festive. There’s a lot of reality behind all of that magic, though — reality that includes climbing ladders, scaling rooftops, tinkering with electricity and testing your own personal safety limits in the name of a spookier Halloween display or more whimsical sleigh scene than the Joneses. How can you make your house look great, but stay safe at the same time?

Dos and Don'ts for Hanging Holiday Decorations

 Dos and Don’ts for Hanging Holiday Decorations

Measure Twice, Buy Once
Make sure you have enough lights and clips to fulfill your master plan. You’ll want to make sure you have everything you need before you get up on a ladder. Bad news, friends: this is going to involve some math.
Measure the base of the house, going along any turns and corners, to estimate what you’ll need for your roofline. Measure any doors, door frames, window frames or columns you plan to light. And don’t forget to measure the distance to your power source!
 Dos and Don'ts for Hanging Holiday Decorations
Where to Hang, How to Hang
When you know exactly where you want to hang your lights — roofline, gutters, shingles? — assess your placement sites. There are specific clips for each type of surface, and you’ll need to know parameters like the thickness of the gutter lip, or how loose or tight the shingles on your roof are. Be very careful as you make these measurements.

Put these recommendations from OSHA (they know safety!) into practice when you start making serious use of your ladder this season:

    •    Read all markings on the ladder. Simple, but smart.
    •    Avoid electrical hazards. Look before you ladder! You don’t want to end up in the hospital because you climbed right into a power line.
    •    Maintain 3-point contact (two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand) as you climb.
    •    Don’t move or shift a ladder while a person in on it — and no, the “hopping” method is never OK.
    •    An extension ladder should slide three feet above the point of support. Never climb onto the top rungs unless your ladder was specifically built to support people in that manner.

Safety Before Beauty
Make sure that all of your lights and cords are in good repair and rated for outdoor use.

To prevent overloading a circuit or blowing a fuse, calculate the wattage of your lights (more math). Multiply the wattage of the bulb by the number of sockets to get total wattage of a string light, then divide the total watts by 120 to reach total amps.

Also, never connect different types of lights on the same circuit or outlet.
When it’s time to climb the ladder and start installing your clips and lights, find an assistant to help with your supplies. If you don’t have an assistant, use an S hook to hang a bucket to your ladder to hold your supplies.

If you can skip the ladder altogether and use an extension pole, even better.

Roofs are not made for extensive walking — just ask the roofing professionals. Plan your design accordingly and remember to use a safe and sturdy ladder to hang your lights.

If you’re planning an elaborate light display that covers your entire roof, make sure you have the appropriate safety equipment, such as a harness, to help avoid accidents.

If you don’t have the right equipment, you might consider hiring a professional.

Be safe out there, and have a great holiday season and be sure to follow these Dos and Don’ts for Hanging Holiday Decorations!

Find Us On Social Media

Don’t Miss a Post: Get our Newsletter Today!



  1. You’re so wise to offer safety this holiday season. People don’t need to be putting themselves in danger just to have a pretty front of their house.

  2. YOu can get professionals to help install your lights too if you really want them done right.

  3. we have neighbors that have lights on from halloween to new years.

  4. Safety first, definitely. Nothing ruins a holiday faster than an accident.

  5. These are great tips! I can’t wait until it’s time to put up the holiday decorations.

  6. I love lights but we never put them up! We have them and everything lol. I’m passing this along to my hubs in hopes it helps him lol

  7. Great tips for the holidays! I am hoping this year will be the year we hang outdoor lights for Christmas! So fun!

  8. We don’t really decorate for Halloween but these are some great tips for hanging our fall decorations.
    This neighbourhood doesn’t really go all out but that’s ok. We do at Christmas!!

  9. Oh, I love these tips, especially as we’ve been utilizing stringed lights for more holidays and celebrations than just Christmas! Thank you for the ideas!

  10. I love it! Thank you for all of the awesome tips for getting my home ready (and safely) for the Holiday season.

  11. We need to pick up new Christmas lights. I will keep this in mind, especially the measuring twice!