When the holidays are over, one of the least favorite tasks to be completed is taking down all the decorations. Whether you live in a small apartment or a large house, there can be hazards associated with holiday decoration removal. If you think smart and plan ahead, however, you can quickly get this task done, and move on to staying inside and staying warm this winter.
Keep in mind that, while holiday decorations are temporary, they are still displayed for a fairly lengthy amount of time. Depending on your specific traditions, they may be up for somewhere approaching two months, or perhaps even longer. For outdoor decorations, especially, this is enough time for the elements to wreak havoc on electrical cords, fasteners, and cloth and fabric, leading to some potentially dangerous situations.
Before you begin, make sure all power cords are unplugged. During the time they’ve been up, harsh weather may have caused insulation to come off of electrical cords, leading to an electrocution risk if the cords are plugged in. In addition, stakes in the ground used to hold down inflatables and other lawn decorations may have become rusty, so be sure you wear work gloves and thick-soled shoes or boots to prevent any risk of injury or tetanus infection.
As cold and dreary as the weather may have been when you put your decorations up, it’s likely going to be colder and drearier when you take them down. Not only that, but there’s a much greater chance of a thick layer of snow, or even ice, being present on the ground when you’re outside.
Because of this, it’s important to ensure that you double check where you put any ladders before climbing them. Clear away any snow to prevent the formation of ice, and check under the snow you clear to make sure no ice has already formed. If there is ice present, either select a different location for your ladder, or use a product to remove the ice or increase the traction before you begin your project. Even one leg of a ladder on a slippery surface could be enough to send it sliding with you on it.
Additionally, with the weather being even colder than it was when you put the decorations up, make sure you pace yourself, especially if you’re the Clark Griswold in your neighborhood and have a lot to take down. Take frequent breaks in a warm place to prevent overexposure to the wind and cold. Even if the temperature isn’t all that brutal, climbing up on a high roof could remove you from much of the low-ground protection from the wind. Be aware of your limitations, and listen to what your body is telling you.
If the unexpected does occur, it might not be your fault. Perhaps a decor company sent out a faulty-wired lawn decoration, or perhaps a roofer improperly installed some shingles, leading to roof decay, and an injury on your part. If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to contact us at Cannon & Dunphy. Our Wisconsin personal injury attorneys are here to help you.