Everything is beautiful this time of year because, frankly, you make it that way. But we Stow Patch editors and the Stow Fire Department want to make sure your decorations aren't going to burn your house down.
We checked in with fire Capt. Mark Stone for some decorating safety tips this holiday season. Here's what he had to say:
• Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant and keep them away from candles or any other heat source.
• Not all holiday lights are made equal so be sure that you know whether yours are for indoor or outdoor use and be sure to 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.
• Lighting candles should always be done with caution. Candles should be in a sturdy holder and placed on an uncluttered, stable surface. Lit candles should not be placed in windows where a blind or curtain could catch fire. Never leave a lit candle unattended. Blow out candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Additionally, candles placed on or near tables, altars, or shrines must be monitored by an adult.
• Lastly, roasting chestnuts or anything on an open fire in the fireplace is not a good idea. Make sure that your fireplace has a sturdy screen and keep kids 3 feet away. Have your chimney cleaned regularly and dispose of ashes in a metal container far away from the home.
"We know that the holidays are a hectic time of year for all Stow residents," Stone said. "Please help the Stow Fire Department keep our community safe from fire this season."
All this month, the fire department will be featuring some safety tips and facts for the holiday season on its Facebook page.