Christmas light company says business extra popular as communities, families rush to be festive

If you prefer to leave your ladder in the garage and let someone else string your Christmas lights, you better book an installer pretty soon. 

Check out these tips on how to decorate your home safely

Christmas light companies say they are busier than ever this year. (Dan Evans)

The holidays are in the air and some Calgarians are spreading Christmas cheer already by getting a head start on decorating their homes.

However, if you prefer to leave your ladder in the garage and let someone else string your Christmas lights this year, you better book an installer pretty soon. 

Companies say they've been extra busy this year and have already stopped taking new clients.    

Dan Leonn, owner of True North Christmas Lights in Calgary, told the Calgary Eyeopener that he's got more work than people right now. 

"We have a lot of community work, like the Town of Canmore, Parks Canada, Banff, Lake Louise … they've all increased their spending for the communities as well, so our existing commercial business has really stretched," he said.

Leonn says he thinks places are upping their budgets this year to increase holiday joy within communities.

And as for decorating peoples' homes, Leonn says they've had an increase in residential clients this year, as well as requests to decorate both front and backyards.

Dan Leonn, owner of True North Christmas Lights in Calgary, says training staff can take a long time as the job can be difficult and dangerous. (Dan Evans)

"If you're staying at home a little bit more, why not see your lights from inside?" he said.

"So between commercial, residential and community engagement, we've got more work than we can handle."

Right now, the company is booking three weeks ahead and estimates it will be decorating up to 800 homes this year, on top of commercial properties.

"We hired four additional installers because I had a feeling this was going to happen. But at this point in the season … it's too late to train (more).

Leonn says not only does training take awhile but that they usually hire athletes or people who can endure the outdoors.

"It's dangerous work and I'm not putting just anybody out there. And, you know, a snowstorm is not a good time for safety training," he said.

Decorating yourself?

If you plan on decorating your house yourself this year, Leonn says he's reminding customers that if you fall and hurt yourself, it may be more expensive compared with paying someone to decorate for you.

But if you do go ahead, check out these tips:

  • Make sure the ladder is right for the job.
  • Wear appropriate footwear with grips for climbing on ladders and roofs.  
  • Hang lights with a buddy.
  • Move the ladder as you go, rather than over-reaching.
  • Do not attempt to hang lights when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Use only lights that are marked with an accredited certification from agencies such as CSA or ULC and read the safety labels before hanging Christmas lights.
  • Check the whole string of lights for any fraying of the cord, exposed wires, broken sockets or broken or loose bulbs and replace bulbs before using them. 
  • Avoid overloading a circuit.

How are you decorating your house this year? Tell us in the comments below!

With files from Joelene Hube and the Calgary Eyeopener.


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