Break It Down Now

December 12, 2020
Break It Down Now Feature Image

Taking down the Christmas decorations isn’t nearly as fun as putting them up. But Metro Electric is here to help make your takedown process just as fun (and safe) as the setup.

Christmas Tree Safety

The longer your Christmas tree stays up, the greater a fire hazard it becomes. So be sure to get rid of it once the needles start to fall off, meaning the tree is dead and the lack of moisture makes it a fire hazard. But what do you do with your old Christmas tree? How about recycling it!

Now, what you should NOT do with your dead Christmas tree is burn the tree in your fireplace. Your fireplace is intended to burn well-seasoned hardwood. It’s not intended to burn dried evergreen branches. The needles will burn quickly and may shoot sparks out of the fireplace.

Storing Safety

Before you stow away your lights, inspect them. If any are broken or damaged, toss them. If they’re good to use again, then wrap them loosely around an empty wrapping paper tube and store them in a dry place. Be sure not to pile too many other decorations on top of the lights. It’ll crush them, and you’ll have damaged décor when you take them out next season. Store decorations in a dry location that is safely out of reach from children and pets.

Tip: Write a list of anything you need for next year. Place it inside the first box you open.

Ladder Safety

When unhooking greenery, wreaths, lights and other decorations, people tend to climb and reach. Although it may appear inconvenient and time consuming, it is far better to take the extra time in climbing down and moving the ladder instead of reaching. Ladders, regardless of their condition, can tip if not used properly.

If you find yourself needing to cheat a bit to arrange the ladder a certain way or you need more height, just get a different ladder or alter the situation to fit the ladder’s capabilities.

  • Lock it down – Before climbing, make certain the metal braces are firmly locked in place and all the way down.
  • Don’t climb too high – Never go higher than the second step from the top and never step on the top platform or paint tray.
  • Face the ladder – Arrange your ladder so you are doing work facing the ladder and not away from it.
  • Watch the doors – If the ladder must be placed near a door, make sure it can’t swing open and knock over the ladder, and also make anyone inside or at the job site aware that you are just outside the door.
  • Careful of slick floors – If a ladder is to be used indoors on a slick floor, nail old pieces of rubber to the legs or cover them with balloons.
  • Keep shoes clean – Check that the soles of your shoes are clear of mud, water and grease before ascending a ladder.
  • Ladder maintenance – Maintain a wood ladder by periodically sealing it with a varnish and always use clear so you can spot cracks.