Holidays are a time for lights, decking the halls, and Christmas trees. If you’re decorating around your fireplace, however, you may be accidentally putting your home at risk. We here at The Chimney Guy want your family to be safe and sound this holiday season, so here are a few safety precautions we believe you should take into account.

Cleaning

With children on holiday break and family coming to visit, your fireplace tends to get used more often during the holiday season. A lot of potential chimney fire hazards can be resolved just by getting your chimney inspected and cleaned annually. If your chimney hasn’t had its annual cleaning, there may be soot and creosote building up in your chimney. This is a fire hazard because it can clog up your chimney, not allowing for proper air flow. Creosote is also combustible at higher temperatures and is hard to extinguish once it’s lit. The best thing you can do to have a safe holiday season is to make sure your Chimney is annually inspected by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified technician like the ones at The Chimney Guy.

Clearance

One of the leading causes of fireplace fires is not allowing enough clearance between combustible materials and the fireplace. This includes presents, Christmas trees, and stockings. Often portrayed as hanging in front of the fireplace, stockings are especially dangerous. However, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 211 Standard for Chimneys, Vents, and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances says there should be 36 inches of clearance to combustibles in front of fireplaces, and at least 12 inches of clearance above the opening of fireplaces. If you do hang stockings on your fireplace, be sure to take them down while the fire is burning and only put them back up when the fire is totally extinguished.

Other Holiday Safety Tips for Fireplaces

Never burn wrapping paper in your fireplace. It burns at extremely high temperatures which can damage your chimney.

Burn only well-seasoned firewood in your fireplace to prevent the wood from snapping and sending embers towards your presents or Christmas tree.

Never get rid of your Christmas tree by burning it in your fireplace. The wood will be too green and it will burn poorly with a lot of smoke.

Check all smoke and carbon dioxide detectors. Make sure everyone knows where the fire extinguisher is in case of a Christmas tree fire.

Have a Safe Holiday!

We here at The Chimney Guy want you to have a safe holiday season. If you have any questions about holiday fireplace safety, or you want to schedule a chimney cleaning before your holiday parties and get-togethers, call us at 920-830-1920 or schedule an appointment with one of our CSIA-certified technicians today!