Experts urge caution when putting up decorations - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Experts urge caution when putting up decorations

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - Warm weather this weekend means a lot of people will be outside hanging their displays.  No ice or snow on the ground will help cut down on the number of injuries but being on ladders and roofs still can be treacherous.  Now that Thanksgiving is in the books, many of us are turning our attention to Christmas.  And for many of us, that means putting up those outdoor decorations.

Paul Taylor started his yearly ritual Friday afternoon.  He grabbed a string of lights, climbed a ladder and started putting them up.

"I'm just using the ladder this year. I don't like to get on the roof unless I really have to. That kind of comes with danger," said Taylor.

Waterloo fire crews say they get dozens of calls a year from people falling off ladders or their roof this time of year.

"Make sure the ladder is safe and steady. Make sure somebody's holding the ladder to stabilize it. If you're using older lights, you should inspect them, look for frayed wiring, broken bulbs," said firefighter Chris Linder.

Scott Demuth spent part of his Friday morning shopping.  He spent part of Friday afternoon on the roof putting up decorations while his wife and daughter watched from below.

"We always try to do it right after Thanksgiving, weather permitting and if I know it's going to be bad, I do it the weekend before," said Demuth.

Paul Taylor says he's getting a head start after last year - when weather made this work a little more hazardous.

"Last year, there was a foot and a half of snow when I was putting up these decorations so that's a good reason to get it done early!" said Taylor.

Conditions are expected to be just as good Saturday and Sunday to get those outdoor displays done.  It may be getting them down that's tricky this year.  As you plan your indoor decorations, fire crews say keep safety in mind.  They say you want to make sure your tree has plenty of water, remember to turn off your lights or keep them on a timer, and don't overload your electrical outlets!

Online Reporter:  Bob Waters

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