Winter is often associated with colder weather and the need to bundle up and keep warm. Unfortunately, when filling your home with love, light, and warmth, things can take a dangerous turn. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), nearly half (58%) of all home heating fires occur in December, January, and February.

This winter season, err on the side of caution when cooking, decorating, and keeping yourself warm. Follow these 15 tips to protect yourself and your loved ones from sustaining any kind of serious burn injury:

1. Whenever working with hot food or liquids, ensure your walking path is free of distractions and obstacles.

Ensure rugs and mats are even and furniture is out of your way to protect yourself from slipping and falling.

2. Always use oven mitts.

Don’t risk burning your hands! Even when removing hot items from the microwave, use mitts.

3. Have a plan for placement of hot items.

Prevent extended contact with hot items by having a plan of where they should go. Also, be sure to keep hot items out of the reach of little ones; according to the burn injury experts at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A., 20% of all child burn injuries are contact burns.

4. Think twice about using a turkey fryer.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports 672 people have been injured and $8 million in property damage losses have resulted from use of a turkey fryer.

5. Keep a thermometer on hand.

Using a thermometer can ensure items are cooking correctly and can prevent scorching temperatures.

6. Test temperatures of liquids before serving.

Prevent burns for your loves by ensuring food is a safe temperature to serve!

7. Turn pot handles toward the middle of the stove.

Turning pot handles can mitigate the chances of pot contents spilling.

8. Never leave burning candles unattended.

Always stay in the same room as a candle, and never fall asleep when a candle is lit.

9. Display trees away from heat sources.

Ensure trees and other flammable decorations are kept away from all sources of heat. This includes fireplaces, outlets, and heaters.

10. If you start a grease fire, turn off the heat source.

Turning off the heat source will help prevent further damage.

11. Keep trees watered.

Dry trees pose a high fire risk.

12. Check decorative lights for frayed wires.

Home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year.

13. Ensure smoke alarms are functioning properly.

Three of five home fire deaths result from homes without functioning smoke alarms.

14. Inspect your furnace or have it checked and cleaned by a professional.

An unkempt furnace can cause house fires as well increase your chances of carbon monoxide poisoning.

15. Do not overload your electrical outlets.

Overloading can cause a wall socket to overheat and cause a fire!

While bundling up and keeping warm this holiday season, consider implementing these 15 fire safety tips to prevent a serious burn injury or devastating house fire. Something as simple as turning a pot handle or using an oven mitt can prevent a trip to the emergency room for you or your loved ones.