LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – The Louisville Fire Department is urging residents to take extra precautions this winter, especially during the holiday season.

According to the National Fire Protection Administration, a quarter of Christmas tree fires in homes are caused by electrical problems. Officials say one-third of all decoration fires are started by candles.

Louisville Fire says these tips can help increase safety in the home:

  • Inspect holiday lights and extension cords for damage
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets or extension cords
  • For natural Christmas trees, check freshness to minimize the hazard of dry needles
  • Keep trees and decorations away from any heat sources
  • Keep lighted candles away from combustibles or use the flameless battery-operated type
  • Extinguish any lit candles before leaving the room or the house for an extended period of time and before going to bed.

Christmastime is also a time where many entertain at home and fire officials stress to be just as cautious.

  • Don’t leave cooking food unattended
  • Test smoke alarms and tell guests your home escape plan
  • Ask smokers to smoke outside and keep lighters and matches out the reach of children
  • Keep pets and children away from any lit candles

The organization says 62 percent of home cooking fire incidents have been associated with ranges or cooktops and have accounted for most of those fires between 2011 through 2015. Unattended cooking, they say, was the contributing factor in the fires.

To download a Christmas tree safety checklist, click here.

For more information on the Louisville Fire Department, visit their Facebook page.