Nothing says Christmas like a twinkling tree adorned with decorations. Thanksgiving is almost here and for many that means its time to decorate for Christmas. But decorating the tree is not all fun and games. There are a few things to keep in mind.

If you’re a real tree fan, make a 1- or 2 – inch diagonal cut from the trunk of a Christmas tree before placing it in a water-holding stand. This will allow the tree to collect water more easily. The stand should also have widespread legs and water in it at all times to reduce the risk of fire. This will also ensure that your tree lasts until Christmas.

When decorating the tree inspect new and previously used lights for damage and throw away any that are broken. Always buy lights and other electric decorations bearing the name of an independent testing lab, such as UL. When using them, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and maintenance. Also, do not connect more than three sets of lights to one extension cord. This of course goes for real or artificial trees.

With a few extra steps during the decorating process, you can ensure that you have a beautiful and safe home this holiday season.