(NAPSA)—According to the U.S. Fire Administration and the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 400 fires related to holiday decorations occur annually—but you can keep your home and family outof such statistics. “As a leader in pediatric specialty care and burn prevention, we wantto stress that many burnrelated injuries can be prevented by exercising extra care,” says Richard Kagan, Chief of Staff, Shriners Hospitals for Children— Cincinnati and a memberof the physician executive team. Preventing injuries and keep- ing children safe has long been part of the mission of Shriners Hospitals for Children. The health care system has an ongoing burn awareness program, focusing on safety in the home. Here are some hints to consider: Christmas Trees * If you choosea live tree, make sure the needles are green and hard to pull from the branches, and the trunk feels sticky. Keep the tree stand full of water. * Place the tree away from heat sources. Do not keep the tree up longer than two weeks. * After the holidays, dispose of the tree at a recycling center or haveit taken away. *Do not put tree branches in a fireplace or stove. If you get. anartificial tree, be sureit is labeled “flameresistant.” Trim the tree with flameresistant items, such as plastic tinsel. Holiday Lights *Before using holiday lights, check for frayed wires, breaks in wire insulation, cracked sockets and excessive wear, and replace if needed. Follow directions and don’t combine more than three strands, unless the labels indicateit’s safe. elf using an extension cord, connect the lights to it before pluggingit into an outlet. *Check the wires regularly; they should not feel warm. Some extra vigilance at holiday time can help keep you and your family safe from fire. Be surelights being used out- doors have been certified as appropriatefor such usage. Unplugall lights before going to sleep. Decorations Use non-flammable or flame- retardant decorations. Keep decorations away from heat sources or vents. *Don’t let decorations block exits. * Don't put wrapping paper in a fireplace. Keep candles away from anything that can burn. Extinguish candles when leaving the room and before going to sleep. *Don’t place candles on a Christmas tree. Holiday Cooking *If you're going to use a turkey fryer, be sureto follow directions. Remember general kitchen safety advice such as keeping children away from heating and cooking stoves,fireplaces andfireplace screens, as well as hotliquids. To learn more, you can visit shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.