In the age of Instagram and Pinterest, there is a distressing number of photos and “DIY tips” for holiday decorating that are actually unsafe and may result in a fire or other disaster. So to keep you safe and sound this holiday season we have compiled a list of safety tips and prime decoration offenders to watch out for.
- Pine Cones: These criminal crafts can be spray painted, strung together, and hung all around your fireplace… They also commonly serve as kindling for fires, and they may ignite as they dry near your fireplace. Keep these decorations far away from flame during the holidays!
- Loose pictures and Christmas cards: A common decoration tip this year is to collage family photos and Christmas cards into a small modern and personal Christmas tree with some wire. Some Pinterest photos show these trees RIGHT NEXT to a fireplace… We caution you to choose another location like a coffee table to avoid losing some precious memories.
- Ribbons: Stringing ribbons above your fireplace CAN actually be safe as long as the ribbons are a sufficient distance from flame (3 feet), and heavily secured. A droopy ribbon can quickly become a fire hazard, so don’t be afraid to tug and test the hold when decorating.
- Stockings: Often found in storybooks hanging over an open fire, stockings are the thing of nightmares when it comes decorating safety. They hang directly over flame in most cases and are made of cheap flammable materials and are sometimes weighed down with gifts. We recommend moving stockings away from the fireplace and definitely NOT filling them with candy or goodies until the day before Christmas (that’s Santa’s job anyway!) and laying them on the ground near the tree.
Because many decoration double as fire hazards when placed near a roaring fireplace, and to be on the safe side we recommend these tips for crafting responsibly:
- Have your fireplace swept and inspected by a professional chimney sweep like Black Goose at least once every year to ensure fireplace safety.
- Clean the firebox (the area where the logs burn) at least once a week during the months you use it, when ash builds up.
- Keep all combustible materials at least 3 feet away from heat sources such as fireplaces or candles.
- Opt for a wrought iron or glass decoration near the fireplace instead! These decorations won’t burn easily and add a rustic or modern feel to any home.
- Don’t place wrapped packages or gift boxes near the fireplace because they are highly combustible. And nothing quite ruins Christmas like finding out all the presents are slightly crispy.
- Keep an operable fire extinguisher nearby not only for possible fireplace mishaps but also in case your Christmas tree or other decorations combust.
Stay safe this holiday season and be sure to call Black Goose Chimney Sweep fro all of your chimney-care needs!