Winter holidays are a great time to get together with family, friends, and neighbors. They're also a prime time to consider safety in and around the house, as holiday decorations and Christmas trees make for a greater fire risk. Here are a few safety tips from our partners at the National Fire Protection Association:

-Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.

-Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.

-Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.

-Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturers' instructions for number of light strands to connect.

-Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.

-Keep decorations away from windows and doors.

-Test your smoke alarms, and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.

-Keep children and pets away from lit candles.

-Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.

-Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.

-Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them.

-Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.

From our family to yours, the Booke Fire Safety Assocation would like to wish everyone a happy, safe, and exciting holiday season!