1. Place candles away from combustible materials and out of reach from pets and children. Before going to bed, turn off all the lights and walk through each room to check for any candles that might still be burning.
2. Avoid overloading electrical outlets. Discard any damaged holiday lights or extension cords.
3. Water the Christmas tree daily to keep it from drying out and becoming a fire hazard. Never leave tree lights burning when away from home or sleeping.
4. Have the chimney inspected and cleaned. On average, your chimney should be cleaned after every two cords of seasoned, dry wood is burned.
5. Use caution when using portable heaters. They should be placed on level, non-flammable surfaces at least three feet from combustible materials. Never leave them unattended.
6. Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working properly. Replace batteries annually or sooner if needed.
7. Purchase a portable fire extinguisher and keep it accessible and fully charged.
8. Make sure pets always have a warm and safe place out of the cold. Keep potentially harmful items like mistletoe, holly, and holiday ornaments and gift wrapping items out of pets reach.