ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — With the arrival of the holiday season, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) is reminding New Yorkers to take some precautions while celebrating.

“The holiday season is a very special time of the year,” said FASNY President John P. Farrell. “Unfortunately, we see more fires happen during the holidays. Watering your Christmas tree, checking your smoke alarms, being mindful of candles and following cooking safety are all simple and easy actions everyone can take.”

FASNY said the leading causes of fires during winter months are from winter storms, heating systems, holiday decorations and candles. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. fire departments respond to an average 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year and an average of 7,900 home fires started by candles. Fire departments also responded to an average of 780 home fires that began with holiday decorations.

Holiday decorating suggestions from NFPA:

  • 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
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged
  • Keep decorations away from windows and doors

Safety suggestions for your Christmas tree:

  • Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, so look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don’t break easily
  • Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, and keep the tree base filled with water
  • Make sure all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested in a lab for safety
  • Any lights you use outdoors must be labeled suitable for exterior placement, and be sure to plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle
  • Keep all your holiday candles away from your tree
  • Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night