The holidays are a great time for baking cookies and cooking a big dinner for the family, but 40% of home fires are started from cooking so precautions need to be taken. When cooking, stay in the kitchen and if you have to leave for any reason, turn off your stove top. Always use a timer when food is cooking and if you are baking, simmering, or boiling food, check it regularly. Do not wear loose clothing when you cook, it can easily get caught on fire. If a fire does occur in your kitchen, do not use water to extinguish it, but instead use a fire extinguisher. If you are cooking with oil do not overfill and if it begins to boil, remove it from the stovetop, do not simply turn down the temperature. If an oil fire occurs, use an oven mitt to slide the lid over the pan in which you are cooking. Install and test smoke alarms regularly. Along with cooking during the holidays, Christmas trees fires are another threat. If you decorate your tree with lights, be sure to only use lights that are rated for indoor use and make sure that they are not worn, frayed, or broken. Unplug the lights before going to bed and whenever you leave your home. Dry trees can easily catch on fire, so water your tree daily to avoid this. Safely dispose of the tree when it begins dropping needles but not it a fire place. Christmas candles are set around many houses during this time of year to get a Christmas wreath, sugar cookie, or cinnamon scent, but they should be lit with caution and consideration of what surrounds the candle. By following these guidelines you will have a bright merry Christmas without a fire.