It may be a bit early to start decorating your home for the holidays, but we know that it’s only a matter of days before the decorating frenzy hits! Whether you are preparing for autumn or winter festivities, it’s important to do so safely! The fireplace mantel is one of the first places homeowners choose to decorate for the holidays. Follow these safety tips for decorating a mantel (and schedule a chimney inspection!) to keep your home fun and festive this holiday season.
Before decorating your mantel or any area around your fireplace, make sure to follow basic fireplace safety rules. Place a fire extinguisher nearby for emergencies and have a fireplace screen in place if you have an open-hearth fireplace. A fireplace screen will keep sparks from flying out of your fireplace as well as keeping outside items away from your fire. Also, never leave a burning fire unattended.
Some homeowners will spray fire-retardant on their decorations if placing them near the fireplace. Many artificial Christmas trees come with fire retardant sprayed on them already. If you are using a live tree in your home, keep it hydrated so that your home’s heat doesn’t dry it out, making it more flammable.
Although fire-retardant reduces your chances of decorations catching on fire, the safest way to avoid an unwanted housefire is by keeping all items away at a safe distance. There should be no items that dangle directly in front of the fireplace when there is an active fire.
Whether it’s stockings, garlands, ribbons, or banners, you should never let anything drape or hang off your mantel while using your fireplace. You can still decorate your mantel with these items but set them aside to a safer location when burning a fire.
Speaking of tips for decorating a mantel, when was the last time you had your chimney inspected? According to the National Fire Protection Association, the safest chimneys are ones that are annually inspected and cleaned. We always recommend getting an inspection before the holidays, especially if you plan on using your fireplace through the winter. It’s also best to do so before hanging up any decorations.
IBEX Roof cares about the safety of your family and your home. Not only is it important to look after the interior of your chimney, but the exterior as well; after all, the chimney is another hole in your roof! Schedule a roof and chimney inspection today by calling our office at 360-218-3104. We’ll take a look at the flashing around your chimney, check for cracks in your chimney’s brickwork, and ensure there won’t be any leaks in your home this holiday season!