Fall is the time when homeowners begin decorating for the holidays. First spooky Halloween decor, fall leaves and pumpkins for autumn, turkeys for Thanksgiving, and then the glitter and glitz of Christmas. Fall and winter is also the time for the fireplace and mantel to shine. It is the backdrop for all of your favorite family activities throughout the holiday season, so it’s important that it looks great. It’s just as important for it to be safe.
Safe Chimneys for Fall
Before you worry about decorating, make sure your chimney is safe and clean for your fires this fall. Otherwise, when you schedule your chimney sweep or inspection, you may need to remove decorations in order for your technician to access the chimney. Chimneys that are cleaned regularly and inspected annually are the safest and most efficient chimneys according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Scheduling now will ensure that your chimney is safe and ready for your first fire of the season.
Safe Chimney Decorations
Your chimney masonry may not be safe for hanging decorations, though many homeowners would love to hang wreaths, portraits, or mirrors above the mantel. If your masonry is hot to the touch, there is likely a problem with your liner that allows the heat from the fire to transfer through the masonry. A damaged liner can be a fire hazard, but it can also cause a significant drop in efficiency. Fortunately, a damaged liner will be recognized during a standard inspection or sweeping. When you have your chimney serviced, your technician will be able to identify a problem, repair it, and ensure that decorations are safe to hang from the chimney. If you’re not sure how to do it, talk to a professional about installing a hook for all of your favorite decorations.
Safe Mantel and Hearth Decorations
In addition to the chimney masonry, the fireplace opening itself can be dangerous if decorations are not placed with care. Make sure your holiday hearth is not a danger to your family and your home by remembering these tips:
- Material – Make sure your store-bought decorations are flame retardant. Don’t decorate near your fire with any organic material that is dry such as limbs, leaves, or dried flowers.
- Fixtures – Do not hang decorations with tape or tape or glue products such as command strips. Fix garland, lights, or any other decoration onto the mantel with staples or devices of equal strength.
- Distance – Decorations should not hang over the fireplace while it is lit and freestanding decorations should be kept a safe distance from the fireplace opening. Keep decorations far enough from the fireplace opening that if they fall, they will not reach the flame.
Clean Chimney, Beautiful Hearth
Before you start including your fireplace in your fall and winter festivities, make sure you have your system cleaned. A chimney sweep will ensure that the fireplace, doors, and mantel are clean and beautiful, and the fire will have a nice flame with no excessive smoke problems.
If you need help getting your chimney system ready for fall give Chesapeake Chimney & Co. a call today.
Call 410-535-0052 or schedule an appointment online.