You want your holidays to be memorable, but for the right reasons. Help ensure you celebrate a safe and happy holiday by observing these simple – but essential – tips to help safeguard your loved ones and belongings.

Celebrate with a live tree – safely

Choose the right tree! Healthy trees have green needles that do not fall off easily and supple, not brittle, branches.

  • Water your tree daily, and keep your tree indoors for no more than two and a half weeks.
  • Remove the tree immediately if it stops taking water or if needles become brittle or begin to drop.

Light the way to a careful holiday

  • Test each strand of holiday lights in an outlet before hanging.
  • Inspect strands for frayed wire and bulbs that are cracked, broken or missing.
  • Touch each strand to be sure the wire and bulbs are not heating up. Discard any warm strands.

Watch and tend to open flames

  • Decorate trees only with ornaments and electric lights, avoiding candles.
  • Display candles away from curtains, paper and other combustible items and pets.
  • Always extinguish candles when you leave the room, and monitor and trim wicks as you enjoy the candles’ warmth and aroma.
  • Use a dish or container designed to catch melted wax.
  • Always lock up candles, matches and lighters to protect children.

Maintain your fireplace and smoke detectors

  • Before you get toasty in front of a fire, have your fireplace and chimney professionally cleaned.
  • Use only aged, hard firewood to start and fuel your fire. Wrapping paper and tree needles and branches burn unpredictably and belong in the trash.
  • Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, replacing batteries regularly.

While the holiday rush may keep you busy, taking the time to protect your family and home from fire is a valuable investment, ensuring more happy occasions for years to come.