’Tis the Season for Contractor Holiday Decoration Safety Tips


With the holidays right around the corner, homeowners and business owners are already planning their decorations. Some holiday decorations are quite elaborate, including creating an extravagant winter wonderland that includes extensive exterior light installation and elaborate holiday scenes for all to experience. Other holiday decorations are low-key but still involve heights in installing the lights around the house or atop tall trees.

Many landscapers, window cleaners, and painters offer installation services for holiday decorations. It’s a way of supplementing their income during the winter. If you provide this service, ensure safety is front and center this holiday season. Operating a Christmas lights business comes with risks – from working at heights to running electrical wiring.

Here are some tips, courtesy of Get Jobber:

  • Avoid potential headaches by thoroughly examining your inventory before your Christmas decorations season starts. Look for frayed cords, exposed wires, and dim or dead bulbs.
  • Invest in personal protection equipment (PPE) to protect your crew. This includes wooden ladders, ladder levelers, ladder standoff arms, harnesses, roofing shoes with replaceable pads, and work gloves.
  • Create a safety protocol checklist:
    • Are all light strands and extension cords rated for outdoor use?
    • Have all light strands been inspected and tested?
    • Are you using a wooden ladder to install Christmas lights?
    • Has the wooden ladder been inspected, and is it in good condition?
    • Does the wooden ladder extend past the roofline?
    • If installing lights on trees, are all trees clear of power lines?
    • Are no electrical outlets overloaded with too many lights?
    • Are all extension cords tucked away and not posing a tripping hazard?
  • Limit holiday decorations to areas where they won’t create a fire hazard and won’t block exits.

Insurance Protection

Check your insurance program to ensure you are covered before you offer holiday decoration services. For example, check to see if your General Liability insurance covers lighting installation if your main focus of operation is another service, such as landscaping, painting, or roofing. Does your policy cover work outside of your primary business of operation? Do you need additional temporary coverage if a third party is injured because of the work you are doing?

You should also check that Workers’ Compensation is in place for those installing lighting. If you use subcontractors, they must also have Workers’ Compensation coverage. Installing Christmas lights outside requires ladders to reach the home’s rooftop, which raises the risk of employee injury.