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Holiday Disasters: Homeowners' Tales of Their Worst Yuletide Nightmares

More Than Holiday Decorations on Display

"About 5 years ago, I was hanging lights on our house. I came to a section where there is a pitch in the roof, and the ladder did not quite make it, so I climbed into the tree in front of the window where the pitch was located.

I got up fine, hung the lights, but as I began to make my way down the tree, the branch broke. I fell through the branches and landed on my bum. I stood up to see my neighbors across the street looking at me like I was crazy.

That's when I realized it felt very breezy. The limbs of the tree had actually ripped my shirt off. Unfortunately, I was not wearing a bra at the time. To this day, I will not decorate without making sure I have all my undergarments on, and I no longer climb in trees!"

Tamara Krause, Jacksonville, Fla.

Don't Let This Happen to You

Chances are you're using a ladder -- and not a tree -- to hang your outdoor holiday decorations, but ladders can be just as dangerous. The pros at Ulta-Lit Technologies, a company that makes holiday safety kits, made these suggestions:

Always use a ladder with two people present -- one person to climb the ladder and one person to spot the other in case anything goes wrong.

Make sure all extension cords are out of the way so that nothing gets tangled or wrapped around the legs of the ladder.

And the experts at said:

Inspect the ladder before use to make sure there are no loose rungs or screws.

Make sure you're setting the ladder up on solid ground, and position it so that the bottom of the ladder is about a foot away from the wall for every 3 feet the ladder rises.

And we have one last tip of our own: Make sure you're wearing undergarments while stringing lights on the house, just to be safe.

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