The holidays are a time for relaxing and spending time with family and friends. But  you’ll also want to make sure to keep your home and family safe while you do so. To make for a merry holiday season this year, follow these five holiday safety tips from

Double check all electric lights and use them correctly

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Even if you have already decorated for the season, double check your lights for damage and replace them if needed. If you have lighting outdoors, make sure that they are safe for outdoor use. Indoor-only lights can short out, causing a potentially serious situation.

Keep your tree away from heat sources

Whether using an artificial or live tree, be sure to keep them away from heat sources. In the case of live trees, being kept near a heat source will dry them out faster, resulting in a fire hazard. This means no heat vents or fireplaces.

Get your fireplace inspected and cleaned

The holidays are a popular time to light up and enjoy your fireplace if you have one. Before you do, make sure that you get it inspected and cleaned by a professional. This will prevent any built-up debris from catching fire or clogging the chimney, making for a cleaner, safer burn this season.

Keep travel plans offline

In the age of social media, it can be easy to overshare. This holiday season keep your travel plans to yourself and post those photos after you get home. Even if you keep your social media account private, posting this kind of information is never recommended as lets others know when your home will be empty.

Use timers to keep the lights on

If you will be out of town for the holidays, close your shades to prevent anyone from seeing into your home and set your lights on timers. Well-lit homes inside and out can be a good deterrent for burglars. If you have a neighbor that you trust, ask them to keep an eye on the house for you while you’re gone.

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The above information is for educational purposes only. All information, loan programs and interest rates are subject to change without notice. All loans subject to underwriter approval. Terms and conditions apply. Always consult an accountant or tax advisor for full eligibility requirements on tax deduction.