Homeowners will soon begin the annual crawl through attics and storage spaces to unearth the bright lights and blow-up snow globes that grace lawns all across the nation each holiday season.
While decorating for the holidays can be a fun tradition, it can also pose safety hazards to those responsible for taking down the decorations.
Here are a few tips to help you unpack holiday decorations safely.
Don’t Go At It Alone
Enlist help from your family and friends to assist with the heavy lifting. An assembly line system lessens the number of times someone must go up and down the ladder to bring heavy boxes and awkward items out of the attic. These helpers can also act as spotters for the person entering and exiting the attic.
Check Your Ladder
A steep ladder is often the primary means to enter and exit the attic. When pulling the ladder down, make sure you support it all the way so that it does not unfold on your head. Once it is down, completely unfold it and ensure that the hinges are locked tight.
It is also important to check that the legs are completely flush with the ground to mitigate the risk of the ladder moving. Be aware of the capacity of your ladder. Make sure that what you are planning to bring down with you will not exceed the weight capacity.
Bring a Flashlight
Many attics have poor lighting and heavy shadows around storage boxes and furniture. Using a flashlight will help you to better see areas in the attic that may not be visible by the primary light source.
Make Sure the Attic is a Safe Environment
Attic floors may have exposed beams waiting for you to trip over or nails for you to step on. Knowing these risk factors before you begin carrying heavy or bulky items around will lower your risk for injury. Placing a drop cloth at the bottom of the ladder will reduce the amount of debris that will come into your home.
Close-toed shoes and tight-fitting clothing will help you move around freely, without having to worry about tripping on a sandal or snagging a shirt sleeve.
Plan for Next Year
An important step to consider when bringing items down is to have a plan for storage after the holiday season ends. Make it a point to clearly label your boxes and only store items in an attic if you know you will only need to access them two or fewer times per year.