1. GIVE CANDLES CLEARANCE
Power Tip: Switch from wax to the soft light of flameless candles. These safe substitutes operate on battery power and come in a variety of styles and sizes.
2. COOK WITH CARE
Between family feasts and cookies for Santa, the stove and oven work as hard as you do during the holidays. Always cook with care, and remember that kitchen equipment is the leading cause of home fires year-round.
3. STAY WARM SAFELY
Be sure that a professional furnace checkup stays high on your holiday to-do list, and schedule it before your technician’s season gets busy. Don’t turn on the space heaters until they’ve passed your inspection. When you’re sure they’re safe, use with caution.
4. WATER THE TREE
A fresh-cut Christmas tree adds a wonderful aroma to the holiday household. A tree that isn’t watered every day dries out quickly and can ignite in just a few seconds. Pamper your fir with a sturdy, deep stand that holds plenty of water, and never decorate it with candles.
Power Tip: If you decide to play it safe and celebrate the season with an artificial pre-lit tree, make sure you choose one that’s certified as UL-rated.
5. CHECK THE LIGHTS
Some family favorites are a beloved tradition on the tree, but be extra careful with older strands of lights. Check for cracks, frays and loose connections that can overheat. When you replace bulbs, be sure to match voltage and wattage, and never overload extension cords or wall sockets.