By Ben Moore

You’ve decorated the tree, put up the lights and placed a lit candle in every window. But the next thing you know, you smell smoke.

Candle fires, stolen presents and other calamities can put an unwelcome damper on your seasonal cheer, but insurance can often help clean up the mess. Here are some common holiday disasters and how your homeowners insurance can come to the rescue.

1. Decorations Catch Fire

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” takes on a whole new meaning when the halls are decked with fire hazards. Dehydrated Christmas trees can go up in flames if placed too close to a heat source, and fires from candles make up half of December home decoration fires, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

Fire is covered in three main ways. Dwelling coverage pays for repairs to your home, while other structures coverage is for things like a detached garage or fence. Personal property coverage will pay to replace damaged belongings, up to your policy limits.

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To avoid festive fires, keep candles away from flammable objects, follow all manufacturer instructions for holiday lights outside and keep a real Christmas tree hydrated.

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