The holidays are the most popular time for the fireplace and chimney. The fireplace gets to be the focal point of many festivities, moments, and even family photographs. The chimney gets to work, and if it works well you can avoid a smoky and smelly fireplace and accidental fire. When it comes to keeping your family safe this Christmas, it starts with your fireplace and chimney.
When your chimney system is well-maintained, it will work best and be it’s safest. By scheduling regular chimney sweeps and annual inspections, you can avoid unnecessary damage, accidental fire, and wasted resources. Regular maintenance raises the efficiency of the system, so you can burn less wood, keep the desired temperature more easily, and avoid costly repairs and frequent maintenance.
Decorating for Christmas
When you decorate for the holidays, make sure you pay attention to each item and to where you place it.
- The tree should be far enough away from the fire so that it doesn’t reach it if it tips over. This is especially important if you have pets or children who may pull on the tree.
- Stockings should be easily removed so that they are not hanging when a fire is burning. Designate a place for the stockings once removed, away from flames and in a place they aren’t in danger of falling into flames.
- Garland, lights, branches, or any other decorations should be secured to prevent falling in or near the fireplace opening.
- Items on top of the mantel or hanging from the chimney should be inappropriately sized vases, dishes, fastened securely (not with glue hooks), or sitting stable to prevent falling.
- Candles and scented wax burners should be well away from flammable materials.
- DO NOT add decorations to doors of the fireplace, the opening of the fireplace, or the fireplace screen (if you have one).
- Oversee children while decorating so that hazards are corrected before a fire is lit.
Fire Safety Tips for the Holidays
At Robinson Maintenance Repair, we wish all of our customers in and around Chicagoland a safe and happy holiday season. We know that despite a well-maintained chimney system and safe, securely fastened decorations, accidents can happen. When a fireplace is concerned, an accident can mean a serious injury, property loss, and even death.
Discuss fireplace safety with family and children.
- Keep children away from the fireplace, even when it’s not lit. Never leave children alone with a fireplace, and never leave a fire unattended. Many families use fireplace screens and even gates. Whichever method you choose, make sure it is correctly installed and secure.
- Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, check the batteries regularly and make an escape plan with your family (with two ways out!).
- Before opening gifts on Christmas morning, designate a wastebasket for wrapping papers. If too close to a lit fireplace, it can cause a fire, and this paper is highly flammable.
Do not forget fire safety during the craziness of the holidays. If it’s easier, make a plan before you decorate and before your festivities. Make sure that everyone knows the plan, and the risk of not following the plan and the rules. For more information about holiday fire safety, call a fire expert at RMR, or check out these holiday decorating tips.