With the holidays, we want to feature our fireplaces with holiday decorations. Here are a few tips to keep your safe this holiday season.
It is essential that you have your fireplace professionally cleaned by a chimney sweep at least once a year If it is wood-burning.
Once you’ve assured that you can operate your fireplace safely, there are other things you need to do to eliminate hazards:
- Be sure your home has working smoke alarms on every level.
- Get an alarm that alerts you if carbon dioxide poisoning becomes a threat.
- Dispose of ashes with great care and assurance that an unexpected fire will not start due to hot ashes.
- Only burn seasoned firewood, meaning wood that is low in moisture.
Some tips specifically for the holidays include:
- Don’t place wrapped packages or gift boxes near the fireplace because they are highly combustible. Keep all combustible materials at least 3 feet away from heat sources such as fireplaces, candles, and portable heaters.
- There are additives in wrapping paper which makes it burn at extremely high temperatures; don’t burn wrapping paper in your fireplace.
- Do not discard garbage in your fireplace, including wrapping paper and boxes.
- Keep an operable fire extinguisher nearby not only for possible fireplace mishaps but also in case your Christmas tree combusts.
- Never dispose of a Christmas tree by burning it in your fireplace. The wood of the Christmas tree has not been properly dried or seasoned and is not safe to burn.