Holiday dangers

(CBS) -- For many, this truly is the most wonderful time of the year. But 'wonderful' doesn't mean 'worry-free.' so says the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

"Last year, there were probably... approximately 240 visits to emergency rooms, every day, during the holiday season," says Acting CPSC Chair Ann Marie Buerkle.

The agency is warning consumers to be vigilant when decorating their homes.

This year, the CPSC estimates that there will be 1,300 fires related to Christmas trees and candles. Those fires will lead to 150 emergency room visits, as well as 20 deaths.

"We're all in a hurry to get our trees up - because it's such a pretty event, but to take a few minutes to inspect your lights," Buerkle says.

Experts say you should discard any light strands that have broken bulbs or frayed wires. The packaging should indicate that they're UL certified. And, if you've upgraded to newer technology, don't be complacent.

"LED lights require less of a current so they don't generally don't get as hot as an ordinary light, but they do pose the same hazard in terms of the wires getting frayed, and the bulbs being broken..." says Buerkle.

Real trees should be watered regularly to prevent bad things from happening.

"It's a wonderful time of the year - we all enjoy it... But take a few extra minutes to be safe..." Buerkle says.

One last piece of advice applies to any season: make sure smoke alarms are in place on every floor, and make sure they're working.