How to Hang Your Church Christmas Decorations With Care
With Thanksgiving now behind us, churches across the country turn their attention to the Christmas season—transforming their church spaces into a wonderland of shining Christmas lights, shimmering garland, and colorful poinsettias.
But setting up these delightful decorations can be fraught with danger for your church staff and volunteers. To help keep you all safe this holiday season, here are some tips on how to safely setup your Christmas decorations this season.
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1. Create a Plan to Secure Your Decorations
From embedding fasteners into mortar joints and improvising connections to mounting displays to synthetic stucco and driving screws into metal flashing covers, we’ve seen many creative ways of attaching Christmas decorations.
But creative does not always mean careful. And so this year, we suggest taking a thorough walk-thru of your space to identify secure locations around your church for your decorations. Then, ensure you have the right tools to assist you in fastening them around your church building. In the end, you’ll be more assured your lighting, wreaths, and branches will not drop to the ground. Plus, you’ll likely save money by avoiding unnecessary repairs in the spring.
2. Create an Escape for Critters
Even though it’s Christmas, not all guests should be welcome in your church. After collecting all your decorations from your church attic, basement, or exterior storage areas, be sure to open the containers outside before bringing them into your church facility. Since last Christmas, several critters, like mice, chipmunks, or squirrels, may have made a home in your manger scene. Be careful not to bring them into your building with you.
3. Avoid Electrical Hazards
Here again, we’ve seen it all when it comes to churches “efficiently” powering their Christmas decorations, including overloading power strips and daisy-chaining them together, but both approaches pose significant electrical hazards. Reduce your church’s risk of electrical fire this year by following a few simple tips:
- Purchase sufficient power distribution strips and place them around your church.
- Ensure your extension cords, drop cords, and distribution strips are properly sized for your electrical loads.
- Use only commercial timers to control your exterior lighting displays.
- Avoid the temptation to utilize light-duty outlets on your HVAC units to power your roof lighting displays.
4. Reduce Your Fire Risks
Speaking of fires, while we all love the look, feel and smell of live trees and evergreen branches, they are both extremely flammable — especially when paired with burning holiday candles. We suggest utilizing battery-operated candles and artificial evergreen decorations, and then adding pine scent via sprays or oils. However, if you still prefer using real greenery, be sure to place them a safe distance away from flammable ignition sources.
5. Step Up Your Ladder Safety
According to OSHA, “falls from portable ladders (step, straight, combination and extension) are one of the leading causes of occupational fatalities and injuries.” This holiday season, be sure to check that your ladders are in good, working condition before ever allowing your church staff or volunteers to step onto one. Also, don’t put your staff at risk by using undersized ladders. If your ladder doesn’t reach beyond where you want to hang your decorations, then you need a larger ladder.
By following these tips to deck your church halls, you’ll be able to provide a better environment for the community who enters your church space this Christmas season.