Christmas is the time of cheer, but it can also be a time of fear. That’s because so many fire hazards abound. It is a good idea to make sure your California home insurance quotes provide adequate fire protection, because careless errors can easily be made at the holiday period.  While we’re busy thinking red and green festivities, we should be thinking fire safety.

The Christmas tree is iconic but when you combine dry branches, pine needles, electricity and fabric, the worst can happen. It is no surprise that the holiday period is when most claims are filed for fire damage.  Don’t be one of them.

Do you have smoke alarms installed throughout your house? If not, you should. It is a very inexpensive way to get fire protection. And check them every year and replace batteries just to be sure.

Every dwelling should have more than one fire extinguisher. One fire extinguisher should be in the kitchen and there should be at least one if not more in other parts of the house. And be certain you are knowledgeable about its operation. Don’t try to learn as a fire is burning.

Put your holiday tree three feet away from any heat source, and that is a minimum. That includes fireplaces, lamps, heat vents and candles.

When you buy decorations be sure they are flame retardant or fire resistant. Today, it is easier to find this kind of decoration. Check tags to be sure.

Don’t put more than three sets of mini-lights together and no more than 50 screw-in bulbs. And don’t use nails when you fasten anything. A nail can puncture an electrical cord. That will help prevent electrical fire.

If you are leaving your home, make sure the tree lights are off. Turn them off also when you retire for the evening. Don’t forget to blow out any candles you may have lit.

Keeping the tray full of water keeps the tree from drying up so quickly. But once needles begin to fall it is time to discard it. And don’t lean it against the garage, dispose of it at the curb.

These tips could save your family’s life, your home and certainly will mean you don’t have to file a claim and you’ll be able to take advantage of lower-cost New York homeowners insurance.