Hanging the stockings by the chimney with care is a well-known Christmas tradition. But use just as much care when firing up your fireplace this holiday season. On average, fires in and around a chimney or fireplace occur more than 25,000 times each year, leading to 10 deaths. So before you gather 'round the hearth, make sure your damper is open, and cover your fireplace with a protective screen or grate. Also, don't place your Christmas tree anywhere near the fireplace, and, as tempting as it might be on Christmas morning, don't toss ripped-up wrapping paper into the fireplace; it may create enough sparks and embers to ignite a blaze.