The temperatures are dropping and the days are getting shorter, which means the holidays are upon us once again. The hustle and bustle of the season, and its numerous activities and decorations, have the potential for dangerous situations if precautions aren’t taken. Here are a few quick tips from American Restoration Water and Fire, LLC to keep you and your family safe throughout the holidays.

Don’t overload your home’s circuits. We all remember the scene in the classic film A Christmas Story where the comically-overtaxed wall socket results in a puff of smoke, a blown fuse, and a few faux obscenities. Fortunately, that was a comedy. In reality, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports an average of 380 fires a year in U.S. homes due to Christmas trees, lights, and lighted decorations, resulting in property damages of $26.7 million.

To avoid being part of the statistics above, Restoration Water and Fire, LLC recommends the following: Switch to low-power LED lights and decorations (this will also save a tidy sum on your electric bill). If you stick with more traditional incandescent bulbs, read the labels and warnings on your lighted decorations, and plug your lights into different circuits throughout your home. And be sure to check the wiring insulation on your lights and lighted decorations for cracks and other damage—especially those that have been used outdoors. Also, make sure your home’s wiring is up to the task.

Don’t leave the oven or the stove unattended while in use. With so much to do during the holidays, multitasking becomes important. You may be tempted to reduce pots to a simmer, let the turkey cook in the oven, and run to the store to pick up extra marshmallows for the sweet potatoes, thinking “I’ll just be five minutes.” But it’s just not worth the risk. Plenty can happen in those five minutes, and unexpected delays are likely to keep you longer.

An average of $853 million in property damages occur each year in the U.S. from fires started while cooking. If you need to leave things unattended, make sure the oven and all burners are off. The food will stay warm while you’re away for a few minutes.

Blow out candles before you leave the house or go to sleep. Candles, especially scented ones, are extremely popular throughout the holiday season. The NFPA reports a sharp increase in candle-caused fires each year in December, due to the rise in number of candles used and a corresponding increase in decorations (which are often combustible). There are well over 10,000 candle-caused fires in the U.S. each year, and we don’t want it to happen to you.

The staff here at Restoration Water and Fire, LLC care a great deal about our customers, and hope you won’t need us this holiday season, but contact us should the unthinkable happen.