BOSTON (CBS) – He’s here, he’s there, and you never know where. The Elf on the Shelf is the eyes and ears of Santa Claus checking on who’s naughty and nice.

He’s said to be hiding in homes from Thanksgiving to Christmas, flying back and forth to the North Pole to make a full report on good deeds and bad.

Give him a name and he gets his magic, so the story goes.

But the magic has caused more than a little mischief in some homes, because the elf’s game of hide and seek has sometimes become dangerous.

The problem is the elf doesn’t know he’s not fireproof and has gotten into trouble getting too close to some lights or heat generating surfaces.

The Elf on the Shelf can cause potential fire hazards. (WBZ-TV)

The Elf on the Shelf can cause potential fire hazards. (WBZ-TV)

In Maryland firefighters say he got too close to a ceiling fan light fixture and started a small fire. In Alberta, Canada he hid too close to a light bulb and also started a small fire.

The Massachusetts State Fire Marshal’s office “cautions people to keep anything that can catch fire away from heat sources, including Elves on Shelves.”

(Image Credit: Duxbury Fire Department)

(Image Credit: Duxbury Fire Department)

And since legend has it that you can talk to an elf but not touch it, Coan said to tell him, “It’s important to keep items at least a foot away from light bulbs, especially incandescent ones, that burn at a hotter temperature.”

It’s caught the attention of many fire departments including Duxbury which tweeted that safety is “an order from Santa.”

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Beth Germano

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