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How to safely hang your Christmas lights

Obviously doing the work yourself is cheaper in hindsight, but if you aren't careful and don't take the necessary precautions, a fall sending you to the ER can be pricey too. (KTUL)

We all love driving around this time of year and seeing houses beaming as bright as the Christmas trees in their front windows.

There's something magical about it, but also nerve-racking if you're the one stuck climbing up the ladder.

"We get a lot of phone calls from wives saying, 'My husband wants to put the lights up; however, I'm not allowing him to because I don't want him to hurt himself,'" said Caroline Mathias with Greenleaf Lawn. "They say, 'I just want you to take care of it,' and that's what we do."

Greenleaf Lawn in Broken Arrow is one of several businesses in town partaking in a relatively new industry: hanging your holiday lights for you. It may sound like that takes the fun out of it, but it also takes the danger out of it.

This time of year about 200 people wind up in emergency rooms every day because of decorating related injuries, the bulk of those come from hanging lights on a roof. That's about 13,000 amateur Clark Griswolds falling down and winding up in the ER each year.

If you do decide to make a go of it yourself, Greenleaf has some tips.

"Make sure you get quality lights," said Mathias. "We recommend commercial grade if possible. We don't suggest stapling into the house since that can damage the wood, we use plastic clips. Use a good ladder."

You'll also need a spotter and for added safety, you can get a roof harness to save yourself from a fall. But if you start to feel too far out of your depth, just stop.

"If you start to get that feeling in your chest, that terrified feeling once you get up on the roof and want to attempt the roofline, I say just bail out. Get down, get safe and have someone else get up there and do that for you," she said.

Obviously doing the work yourself is cheaper in hindsight, but if you aren't careful and don't take the necessary precautions, a fall sending you to the ER can be pricey too.

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