The next couple of weeks will be a popular time for folks to decorate their homes for the holidays. Christmas trees, holiday stockings, garland—all of these items, while beautiful and fun, need to be placed carefully throughout your home to ensure that when you are doing your holiday decorating mantels and fireplaces are both safe and festive! Here are a few tips to help you keep everything well-tended this holiday season.

1. Where—and where not—to place your tree

Choosing the right spot for a holiday tree is important, not only for your home décor and ambiance, but also for safety reasons. Most important of all—make sure your tree isn’t too close to you fireplace or stove. It doesn’t matter what type of fireplace you have, it makes fire, so make sure your tree is placed a safe distance away from any heat source.

Photo credit: Cindy Booth

Photo credit: Cindy Booth

2. “Stockings were hung by the chimney with…” What?!?

While you may be tempted to place your stockings by the chimney—fireplace, really, DON’T. Stockings are flammable, they shouldn’t be anywhere near a fire!

3. Pick the right artificial tree

If you’re planning on purchasing or decorating with an artificial tree, make sure it is fire-resistant. All trees will burn if they catch fire or are exposed to flames, but fire-resistant trees will resist fire and can be extinguished more quickly than those that are not fire resistant.

4. Don’t skimp on the water!

If you’ve chosen a live tree for the holidays, make sure you take a couple of minutes to give it some water each day.  We all tend to get dried out and chapped in the cold winter months, and trees are no exception. Home heat dries out trees even more quickly, and a dry tree is a fire hazard.

5. Don’t burn trash like wrapping paper or packaging in your fireplace

Not only do wrapping paper and packaging burn quickly, they can also contain chemicals, which aren’t healthy to breathe.

If you’re looking for more tips on decorating your home safely this holiday season, this post from Consumer Reports is a great place to start!

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