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Whether you’re decorating or winterizing, doing it safely makes it all the more enjoyable. Here are some tips to keep you and your home safe and comfortable.

Your heating system is the heart of the home. Have your system checked by a licensed professional to make sure it’s ready for the season. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, if indicated, should be installed on every level as well as in bedrooms and tested regularly. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned. Also check that fuel tanks are filled, coal is delivered or wood is readily available.

Have your roof inspected and debris cleared, including from gutters and downspouts. You may want to consider ice and snow guards for gutters, or if snow regularly accumulates on your roof, a snow rake.

When decorating, inspecting or installing winter items, use a ladder that’s appropriate for the job, and use it for its intended purpose. Work with a partner, don’t do it alone. Do not stand on the top three rungs and stay off the top of a step ladder.

If your celebrations include a tree, make sure it’s fresh. Needles should be hard to pull off or break when bent. Keep the tree away from heat sources like vents, radiators and fireplaces, and keep it watered properly, checking it daily. Turn any lights off when leaving the house

Decorating? Check all lights for frayed wires or loose connections and broken bulbs. Burn candles in a safe place where they can be seen. Keep small decorations out of reach of children and pets to avoid the risk of choking.
Couple decorating a Christmas tree