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Check your fireplace. Have it professionally cleaned at least once a year, more often if it is used frequently. Dispose of ashes in a metal container.

Children should be taught to stay away from heaters, stoves, candles and fireplaces.

After a party, check the furniture for smoldering cigarettes. Empty all ashtrays into a metal container.

Check your Christmas tree lights before using them. They should bear the label of an approved testing agency (UL or FM). Replace sets that are worn or have loose connections. Unplug all lights before going to sleep or leaving the house.

When choosing a Christmas tree Choose a fresh one. Look for one that is deep green in color and has needles that do not fall off easily. Keep the tree outdoors and in water until you are ready to set it up. Remove the tree from your home if it shows signs of drying out. An artificial tree should be checked to ensure that it is flame-retardant.

Keep kerosene and electric heaters away from combustible materials. Remember, kerosene heaters can only be used in one- and two-family homes that are owner-occupied.

State law requires working smoke detectors on each level of your home. If you have a fresh tree, install a smoke detector in the room where the tree is located.

When shoveling snow, please remove snow from around any fire hydrants in front of your home.

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