Hanging lights? Do it right

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. One of your favorite holiday traditions can also be one of the most dangerous.
If you’re putting up Christmas lights this year, there are some safety measures you need to take to make sure you don’t get hurt.
Charles Buckler is the owner of Ozark Outdoor Services. He’s been busy putting up Christmas lights since October. He says if you’re not going to hire a professional, you need to be properly prepared.
“Make sure you have the proper equipment. Make sure you have a really good ladder. Make sure you can get there, and get down. Make sure someone is around just in case you do fall,” he said.
His crew often uses the buddy system. One goes up the ladder, while the other holds the ladder stable.
When it comes to avoiding electrocution, he says, “Don’t put up your lights while they’re on. Especially if they’re incandescent. Because most likely, that’s your biggest chance of electrocution. happening.”
Buckler recommends LED lights. They're more expensive, but they don't use as much power and they're safer because the bulbs aren't made of glass.
Buckler says if you’re hanging your own lights, you need to read the label. There’s a difference between indoor and outdoor lights.
“Most likely what’s going to happen if use something indoor outdoors, then as soon as it rains, it’s going to go out. It’s going to throw a breaker, and you’re going to have to call an electrician to figure out what you blew up. And it’s going to cost you a lot of money,” he said.
Indoor lights have thinner insulation, which will become damaged if they’re left out in the cold and wind. If you’re not sure, check the color-coded mark on the product’s package. A green holographic mark means indoors only, and a red one indicates that the product is safe for both indoor and outdoor use.
Buckler says he recommends calling a professional if the job requires a lot of climbing, because it can be dangerous.
See the sidebar for more reminders and tips for Christmas light safety.