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Home for the holidays: How to keep your home safe for the holidays, too

Home for the holidays: How to keep your home safe for the holidays, too

From decorations and shopping, to cooking and candles, your home is exposed to more risks around the holidays. Here are some ways to stay safe at home for the holidays:


  • Only use lights, artificial trees, and other decorations that are labeled fire resistant or flame retardant.
  • Avoid hanging ornaments that look like candy or food if children will be around.
  • Before hanging lights, be sure to use the appropriate outdoor lights outdoors, and indoor lights indoors.
  • Don't use more than three light sets on one extension cord.
  • Keep your Christmas tree well-watered so it does not die or dry out and become a fire hazard.


  • Don't leave cooking food unattended.
  • Keep knives sharp to avoid knife injuries.
  • Minimize decorations in the kitchen in order to prevent fire hazards.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms have new batteries.
  • Use the buddy system while cooking in order to help with distractions.


  • Don't share travel plans or big purchases/gifts on social media.
  • Keep gifts away from windows and out of view from potential burglars.
  • If you'll be away from home for a few days, have your mail held, put lights on a timer, make sure your lawn looks kept, and ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on things.


  • Only carry your ID and credit card with you.
  • If you must carry a purse, use a crossbody bag that can hang in front of you.
  • Store gifts in the trunk of your car and make sure they're not visible through windows.
  • Stock up beforehand on staples you might need when stores are closed, like batteries, ice, medicine, spices, and paper towels.


  • Keep candles away from trees, decorations, curtains, and other flammable items.
  • Never leave lit candles unattended — always extinguish before going to sleep, leaving the room, or leaving the house.


  • Some holiday-specific plants can potentially cause harm to both humans and pets: Poinsettias, mistletoe, holly, amaryllis, lilies, daffodils, cyclamen, Jerusalem cherry, yew, boxwood, pyracantha, Christmas cactus, Christmas trees
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