Now that Halloween is over and we head toward Thanksgiving and Christmas time, it’s almost time to hang this year’s holiday light decorations. It’s best to get an annual chore like this done before the weather takes a turn for the worse, so take advantage of the warmer temperatures this fall and get some lights up before it’s time to crank up your holiday cheer.

It’s safer to work in mild weather when it comes to hanging things on a roof —or building/installing items on a roof itself—and safety materials like new ladders, body anchors and a toolbelt or hanging tool bucket can make the work itself that much easier. It’s also important to complete these tasks with a partner or buddy there to assist you. Remember not to put two people on a ladder at one time.

Many smart homeowners even keep their lights up year-round or have most of their preparation done far before the seasons change to reduce stress and increase their readiness to snap into the holiday spirit on a moment’s notice. For those of you taking on the task in the coming weeks, consider a few pointers:

First, store your holiday lights in a smart and safe way. This includes wrapping last year’s lights in an over-under fashion, where each coil is about a foot in diameter and the cord can be tied together. Stacking coils of lights on top of each other can seem like a cumbersome mix to store, but utilizing things like hooks and shelves can make putting away lights easier and taking them out for the new year of holidays a fast, easy process.

Then, run any accessories like hangers near gutters and extension cords to power your lights ahead of time, as there is nothing quite as awful as running cable (or hanging lights themselves) in the snow. Also be sure to test out your string lights and check for any duds before hanging them up. You can often replace dead bulbs for little to no cost. Following step one and properly hanging your strings of lights will decrease the amount of broken strands and dead bulbs from year to year.

Finally, plan for which lights will go where based on their length and style. Be sure to measure out the length of roof edges and other areas where you’ll want to string your lights to make sure you have enough bling to cover your home. If you want a classic look, opt for large-bulb Christmas lights to string along the edge of your roof. Icicle lights and other types of string lights also tend to have multiple settings where they can emit a steady light, begin to blink or chase each other, or change colors as they’re plugged in and time goes by.

Be sure to follow these efficiency and safety tips from Prime Roofing this holiday season, and enjoy!