Pennsylvania – Your house is probably glowing with beautiful Christmas decorations by now, but take a moment today to make sure that they’re not posing a fire risk.

Keep reading for some of the most common mistakes and ways to prevent them.

Inspect electrical decorations for damage before use. Cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections may cause a serious shock or start a fire.

Do not overload electrical outlets. Overloaded electrical outlets and faulty wires are a common cause of holiday fires. Avoid overloading outlets and plug only one high-wattage into each outlet at a time.

Never connect more than three strings of incandescent lights. More than three strands may not only blow a fuse, but can also cause a fire.

Keep real Christmas trees fresh by watering daily. Dry trees are a serious fire hazard.

Use battery-operated candles. Candles start almost half of home decoration fires.

Keep combustibles at least three feet from heat sources. A heat source that was too close to a decoration was a factor in half of home fire that began with decorations.

Protect cords from damage. To avoid shock or fire hazards, cords should never be pinched by furniture, forced into small spaces such as doors and windows, places under rugs, located near heat sources, or attached by nails or staples.

Check decorations for certification label. Decorations not bearing a label from an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), or Intertek (ETL) have not been tested for safety and could be hazardous.

Stay in the kitchen when something is cooking. Unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of home cooking fires.

Turn off, unplug, and extinguish all decoration when going to sleep or leaving the house. Unattended candles are the cause

Thank you to the Jefferson County Department of Emergency Services for sending us a reminder about these important holiday safety tips!

Check out EHS Today’s safety tips comic reminder.