9 ways to know that you're a holiday decorating disaster

   1) Your cat lets you know he's delighted you've finally bought some great toys!

   Keep pets and children at least three feet away from burning candles and  electrical cords to prevent burns and electrical fires.


   2) That ever-growing pile of fallen pine needles on the floor is receiving  more comments than the decorations for your Christmas tree.


   A dry tree in your home is a fire danger. Think of it as a huge pile of kindling in  your home. Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.


   3) You've spent more time trying to free yourself out of the tangled lights  than actually decorating the tree.


   Check the manufacturer's instructions to find out how many lights can be  connected to prevent electric shock and fire.


   4) You know it's bad to put flammable material near a fire, but you can't  help yourself. These stockings just look so darn cute and festive!


   Keep anything that can burn away from a heat source, despite how awesome  it looks. Flameless candles are also a great alternative to real ones when  decorating.


   5) Your house is a holiday tourist attraction and you couldn't be prouder.


   An overloaded electrical outlet is a major fire hazard. Plug strings of lights  directly into the wall and keep the number to a minimum.


   6) Some of the bulbs on your string of lights have already taken time off   for the holidays.


   Replace any string of lights that has worn or broken cords or loose bulb   connections. These can easily start a fire.

7) You've remembered to keep yourself well hydrated, but the same can't be said for your Christmas tree.


Always keep water in the tree stand. Check daily and add water as needed. Dried-out trees are a major fire hazard.


8) You're sure those strings of Christmas lights make the perfect hat to complement your holiday outfit.


Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both. And most certainly, not for your head.


9) You've been lazy about disposing your Christmas tree so you got creative and came up with a new tradition: a Valentine's Day tree!


Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.

Let's face it, the holidays are never perfect, no matter how they're portrayed in magazines and on television. But by following a few simple practices and precautions, you can create a fun and perfectly fire-safe holiday for you and your loved ones!

And remember, have working smoke alarms in your home and create a home escape plan. Practice it with your family so everyone knows what to do if a fire does occur. Find additional tips and resources about holiday fire safety on our Project Holiday webpage

Happy Holidays from NFPA!

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LisaMarie Sinatra
Communications Manager, Public Affairs Office

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