Nothing can ruin the holiday season more than a burglary or accident in your home. With Christmas right around the corner, follow these seven tips to make sure your home stays safe during the holidays.

Don’t share your travel plans online

If you are planning on traveling during the holidays, don’t share that you will be out of town on social media. By sharing online where you are going and when you are leaving, your friends online will know that your house is empty. This makes your home an easy target for a robbery.

Take care of your lights

Avoid an electrical fire from causing damage to your home by inspecting your Christmas lights for frayed electrical wires or broken lights. Don’t forget, always turn off your Christmas tree lights before going to sleep or leaving the house to avoid starting a fire. In addition, test your home’s smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly in case a fire does occur.

Use your candles and fireplace cautiously

While a fireplace and candles give your home a cozy atmosphere during the holidays, if they are not watched carefully they also have the potential to start dangerous fires. Keep a clear space around candles and the fireplace and make sure there are no stockings, holiday cards, wrapping paper, or pine needles nearby that could catch fire. If you’re having a holiday party, make sure your candles are in a spot where guests will not accidentally bump into them.

Keep presents hidden

In order to avoid a potential home burglary during the holidays, keep your expensive presents hidden until Christmas, instead of putting them under the tree right away. When presents are in plain sight under the tree, potential burglars that look through your windows may be more inclined to act.

After the holidays, break down any boxes from expensive gifts such as TVs or laptops. If you leave the boxes on your curb, it lets any passersby know what expensive belongings are inside your home and what they could steal.

Keep an eye on your kitchen

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and injuries. If you’re entertaining for a holiday party, make sure to keep an eye on what you are cooking in the kitchen. Don’t leave your dishes unattended for too long in order to avoid a destructive kitchen fire.

Tell your neighbors

If you’re going to be spending the holidays away from your home, make sure to let a neighbor know that you are going to be away. Ask them to keep an eye on your house in case anything suspicious occurs. In addition, while you’re away, piling up mail in your mailbox might tip off others that your house is empty. Coordinate with a neighbor or family member to pick up your mail each day.

Clean out your gutters

As the harsh winter weather begins to hit, make sure your home’s gutters are clear of any heavy leaves or branches. As snow and ice collect, additional weight from leaves can cause your gutter to break. Installing gutter guards is another option to help prevent melting snow from freezing and causing more damage to the outside of your home.

Take these precautions this year to make sure that December really is the most wonderful time of the year. Stay safe and happy holidays!