‘Tis the season for holiday decorations and social gatherings. As you are sprucing up your home this holiday season, be aware of these common holiday safety “snafus” so you can help keep your home and loved ones safe this season.

1. Fresh is best.
Try to purchase a freshly cut tree, as they are more resistant to ignition, and secure it in a sturdy stand. Water it daily to keep it in good condition. If purchasing an artificial tree, make sure it is fire resistant. Position the tree away from fireplaces, radiators and portable heaters in your home.

2. Take care with candles.
Keep candles away from decorations and other combustible materials, and do not use candles to decorate Christmas trees (unless your name is Charles Dickens and the year is 1843).

3. Keep poinsettias out of reach.
Poinsettia plants are poisonous to humans and animals, so keep them out of reach, or avoid having them in your home altogether if you have young children or pets.

4. Watch over the stove.
When cooking for holiday visitors, keep an eye on your stove – unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the United States!

5. Keep gifts out of sight.
Help keep thieves away by making sure your holiday gifts are not visible through nearby doors or windows.

6. Take precautions with holiday lighting.
Before putting lights up, make sure all of the bulbs work and that there are no frayed wires, broken sockets, or loose connections. Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use. Keep all lighting out of reach of young children and pets. Lastly, be sure to turn off the lights when you leave the house or are going to bed.

7. Be mindful of your pets.
Popular holiday food items like chocolate, onions and raisins can be fatal to dogs, so keep them out of reach to prevent accidents.

8. Watch what you put in the fireplace.
Putting holiday gift wrap in the fireplace is a hazard so avoid doing it altogether.

Have a safe and happy holiday! If you learned something new reading this, or know someone who could benefit from it, please click the “Like” button at the top of the post or share it with your friends below. If you have more holiday safety tips, tell us by posting a comment below!