GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA) – ‘Tis the season for cozy nights, bright lights, and fire hazards.

The National Fire Protection Association reports December is a leading month for house fires and often times those fires are sparked by holiday décor and celebrations.

With the holidays around the corner, Upstate fire departments are warning people about fire hazards this holiday season.

“Unfortunately, we see it all too often,” said Gaffney Fire Marshal Billy Bishop. “Somebody loses everything right here around this time of year, as it gets closer to Christmas. It happens every single year and it’s heartbreaking.”

This holiday season, Bishop wants people to stay safe and protect themselves from potential house fires.

“We don’t want to meet anybody at Christmas because their house burnt down. That’s what we’re trying to prevent,” said Bishop.

As people deck the halls, he encouraged them to pay attention to instructions on things like holiday lights.

“Don’t just go buy Christmas lights and think you can plug 20 strands in together. Those manufacturer recommendations may say don’t plug in more than four or don’t plug in more than three,” said Bishop.

Or if people are pulling light strands out of storage, he said be sure to inspect them.

“If you see some frayed wiring or something like that, it’s probably best to get rid of them,” said Bishop.

As people light the night, Bishop said it’s important to be mindful of candles too.

“We recommend you using some battery-operated candles,” said Bishop.

He said one of the most flammable things in your home this year is likely your Christmas tree, especially if it’s underwatered and dry.

“If you have a real Christmas tree, a live Christmas tree, those can become very dangerous. They’re very pretty, but they’re very dangerous,” said Bishop.

He said a dry tree can cause major damage when there’s a fire.

“When those take off, they’re completely burning in just a matter of seconds,” said Bishop.

Bishop also encouraged people to have a professional come and inspect their home’s chimney.

He said if there’s debris, it could start a fire. He also said people should make sure their smoke detector is working. He said it’s your first notification if there is a fire and can save lives.