People tend to use their fireplaces between Thanksgiving and Christmas more so than at any other time of the year. In addition to regular chimney cleaning, there are also quite a few safety tips you should keep in mind if you are to enjoy your fireplace as much as possible.
Place Decorations Carefully
A fireplace is often a focal point for Christmas decorating, which must be done carefully to reduce the risk of fire. When decorating, be sure to:
- Place your Christmas tree at least four feet away from your fireplace, whether real or artificial
- Avoid hanging combustible items such as garland, wreaths, or bows on your fireplace
- Hang stockings on small hooks to make them easy to remove before starting a fire
Use Care When Burning
On Christmas morning, it can be tempting to get rid of piles and piles of wrapping paper by burning them in your fireplace. This should be avoided for two reasons. The first is that wrapping paper burns very hot, and could cause high flames to shoot out of your firebox or up into your chimney. The second is that the dye used to make wrapping paper may contain chemicals, which would be released into the air if burned.
You should also avoid burning other items such as pine needles, live wreaths, or pine cones. When it’s time to dispose of your live Christmas tree, take it to a recycling center where it can be ground up into mulch. Never cut it into chunks and burn inside your fireplace, as the tree may contain flame retardant chemicals that could cause breathing difficulties when emitted. Unseasoned pine is also dangerous to burn, because it encourages the development of creosote.
Keep these fire safety tips in mind, and you are sure to have a more enjoyable holiday season. To ensure your fireplace is ready to go, please contact us now to schedule an inspection and cleaning.
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