Is It Safe To Decorate My Fireplace?

by | Oct 28, 2023 | Fireplace Decor

Dressing up your living space for various seasons and holidays can become a cherished tradition, with the fireplace, stove, and hearth naturally taking center stage of your living room. Yet, while adorning the fireplace can boost holiday spirit, it’s essential to prioritize home safety during the process.

So, is it safe to decorate your fireplace or stove? The answer is yes – as long as you keep certain considerations at the forefront. If you have any questions or need assistance, feel free to call us or reach out online. We’re happy to help!

How Far Should Decorations Be Placed From My Fireplace?

A prudent place to commence your fireplace decoration journey is by understanding the “three-foot rule.” All combustible decorations, such as furniture, rugs, curtains, baskets, and other decorative items, should be positioned at least three feet away from the fireplace or stove. This rule applies to objects of all kinds.

infographic asking how far christmas tree should be from a fireplace with the answer of 3 feet

What Can I Put on My Fireplace Mantel?

The mantel offers an attractive option for decoration, but requires special attention due to its proximity to the fireplace. So, what’s safe to put on your fireplace mantel?

  1. Fire-resistant items: Any decor that is labeled “fire-resistant” should be just fine on your mantel.
  2. Stone, ceramic, metal, and glass items: These materials won’t catch fire when exposed to heat, but be mindful that their surfaces can become very hot to the touch.
  3. Candles (with caution): When it comes to candles, using real ones can present some issues – namely, that they can melt due to your fireplace’s heat. Battery-operated LED candles may be a better route, and they can provide the ambiance of real candles, just without the fire risk.
  4. Stockings (if cautious): What’s Christmas with stockings by the fireplace? These may seem like a no-go, but you can still use them. Just remove them before lighting a fire.

What shouldn’t be hung from the fireplace mantel?

Certain decorations should be avoided near the fireplace or stove. Don’t put greenery, garlands, fake spider webs, fabrics, fall leaf decor, or anything similar on the mantel, especially if it’s hanging over the edge and nearing the flames of your fireplace. In addition, if you have any items that are more interactive, leave them somewhere safe that’s well away from your fireplace opening. Sometimes small kiddos – or even pets – just can’t resist the lure of those on/off switches.

How Far Should a Christmas Tree Be From the Fireplace or Stove?

Christmas trees are iconic holiday decorations. To ensure safety, maintain the three-foot rule – keep the tree at least three feet away from the fireplace, stove, or any other heating sources. Also, ensure the tree is stable, and if it’s a real tree, keep it well-watered throughout the season to prevent it from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.

What Else Should I Remember for Safety Decorating My Fireplace?

  • Maintain Clearances: We sound like a broken record, but clearances are important! Keep all combustible materials, including decorations, at a safe distance (three feet) from the fireplace.
  • Ensure Stable Placement: Ensure that all decorations are stable and securely anchored. Items that can easily tip over may pose a fire risk if they fall near the open flame.
  • Invest in Fireplace Screens: Invest in a quality fireplace screen. A screen serves both decorative and safety functions by preventing sparks and embers from escaping the fireplace, while enhancing its appearance.
  • Install Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Ensure your home is equipped with working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Regularly check and replace batteries, as needed, so you’re alerted right away in the event of any emergencies.
  • Keep a Fire Extinguisher Close: Keep an ABC fire extinguisher near the fireplace or in an easily accessible location. Make sure all family members know how to use it in case of a fire emergency.
  • Use the Proper Fuel: Only use the appropriate fuel for your fireplace or stove. Avoid using materials that are not intended for burning, as they may release toxins or burn unpredictably.
  • Book Chimney Inspections: Schedule annual chimney inspections with a professional chimney sweep. These help prevent creosote buildup and ensure the chimney is in good working order throughout your entire burn season.
  • Prioritize Child Safety: If you have interactive decorations that children may be drawn to, consider placing them out of their reach or in another room to prevent accidents. Also, keep children well educated on fire safety, and never allow them to remain alone in a room with a lit fire.
  • Check Your Holiday Lighting: If you use holiday lighting as part of your decor, ensure that the cords and bulbs are in good condition and follow proper electrical safety practices.
  • Ensure Proper Ventilation: Make certain that your fireplace area is well-ventilated and in good shape to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide and to maintain a healthy level of indoor air quality.

By following these safety tips, you can enjoy a beautifully decorated fireplace, all while greatly minimizing the risk of accidents or fire hazards in your home. Prioritizing safety is essential when decorating around any heating element or open flame. Questions? Reach out. We’re happy to help.

Book With Us Today

Ensure your fireplace is ready for the holidays by giving us a call or booking online with us today. We can do an inspection and get repairs addressed long before your first get-together. Reach out now!

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