The holiday season is the time for the fireplace to shine. Cozying by the fire, entertaining guests, and holiday festivities are made better with a warm and crackling fireplace. The fireplace is a great backdrop for family photos and can be beautiful and useful, but it’s important to use it for the purpose it’s designed.

Do Not Burn Wrapping Paper

It can be very tempting to get rid of the mess from a big holiday gift exchange by tossing the wrapping paper into the fireplace, but this is not a good idea! Not only can light materials like paper, leaves, and pine needles rise up the chimney aflame and cause a fire, but they are also made of harmful chemicals. Many wrapping papers, especially those with metallic colors, contain toxic metals that will affect your breathing air if the paper is burned in your home.

Do Not Burn Your Christmas Tree

Whether it’s paper, leaves, or pine needles, light items burn quickly and rise up the chimney while they are still burning. These little fires can catch the creosote on the sides of the flue and lead to a flue fire. A Christmas tree is not appropriate for fireplace burning also because it is freshly cut. Your Christmas tree was only cut a month or two before Christmas and then watered while it stood in your house. It may seem dry, but if the wood still has sap, it isn’t ready to burn.

Properly Seasoned Wood

You should only burn properly seasoned wood in your fireplace. When green or wet wood is burned, there is too much water content in the wood. It burns incompletely, causes more particulate pollution, and brings down the efficiency of the entire chimney system. Even when properly dried, Christmas trees like Douglas firs and balsam firs are soft, meaning they burn faster and hotter. Soft species of wood are not the best for maintaining steady temperatures or for ongoing home heating.

Fireplace Safety

There isn’t just the matter of burning only proper wood. You also have to take precautions with guests during the holiday season.

  • Keep the glass doors or fire screen closed during gift exchange so that wrapping papers and bags aren’t accidentally ignited.
  • Discuss fireplace safety with children and guests.
  • Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and check the batteries regularly.
  • Plan a fire escape (with two ways out!) and practice it with the family regularly.
  • Keep the fireplace and chimney system working safely and efficiently by scheduling regular sweeps and inspections.

Robinson Maintenance Repair is dedicated to chimney safety for our customers in the Chicagoland area, and we want each and every family to have a safe and Merry Christmas. We work year-round and through winter to offer the best services possible. If you have questions or concerns about your chimney system, all Robinson Maintenance Repair today. Dial 847-290-1883 today.