While the holiday season is a time for families in New York to celebrate, it’s also important to keep safety in mind. Whether cooking a lavish feast for loved ones or putting up decorations, you must take the right steps to keep you and others protected from harm. The following tips will help you do just that, whether at your home or when spending time with others.

Take care of Christmas trees

While beautiful, Christmas trees can be the source of fires in the home if you’re not careful. That’s why the National Fire Protection Association recommends choosing a fresh tree with green needles, as dry trees are more of a fire hazard. When placing the tree in your home, make sure it’s at least three feet away from radiators or fireplaces and out of the way of any exits. In terms of decorating, only hang lights that are rated for indoor use. It’s also a good idea to check lights for any missing or damaged bulbs.

Stay close to your stove

Everyday Health also warns against leaving your stove unattended when cooking. While it’s tempting to spend time with your guests, an unguarded stove can easily cause accidental burns to kids or even be the source of a serious fire. Also, try to limit the number of people in your kitchen to prevent distractions and confusion.

Clear out clutter

Your kitchen may be rife with flammable materials just waiting to be ignited. In this case, clearing out clutter makes it easier to organize while also reducing your fire hazard. Keep oven mitts, table cloths, and paper away from any open flames. You also want to make sure you have a working smoke alarm in your kitchen, as well as in other areas of your home. You should test your smoke alarms at least once a month and replace batteries on a yearly basis.