* Lock all doors and windows when leaving the house, even if only for a short time. For an extended leave, have a neighbor or family member get your mail. Install an automatic timer for indoor and outdoor lights.
* Mount your tree on a sturdy base. Keep it at least 3 feet away from furnaces, radiators and fireplaces. For an artificial tree, make sure it is fire-retardant.
* Replace any strings of lights that are frayed or broken. Be sure the lights are certified for indoor or outdoor uses.
* Some plants such as mistletoe or holly berries can pose risks to small children and pets. Keep them well out of reach.
* Never leave candles unattended or near flammable materials such as books, curtains and tablecloths.