You probably remember the significance of “stop, drop, and roll” as a kid… but when it comes to safety around fireplaces during the holiday season, a more appropriate mantra might be something more along the lines of “prevent, prepare, and protect.”
Most of us enjoy having a perfectly decorated tree and stockings carefully hung to adorn our cozy fireplaces. Before you start bringing out the rest of your holiday decor out of storage, though, let Lou Curley Chimney Service remind you of how to celebrate safely with our 12 Days of Fireplace Safety. Need a chimney inspection or sweep completed? Reach out now – we’re here to help.
Our 12 Fire Safety Tips
Lou Curley Chimney Service has been a trusted name in chimney care for over 10 years. With a passion for fire safety, our team is here to provide some practical ways to help ensure a joyful and hazard-free holiday season.
1. Inspect & Clean Your Chimney: Start the holiday season on the right foot by scheduling a professional chimney inspection and cleaning service. It is recommended by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) that these services take place every year – and preferably before you start using your fireplace. A chimney sweep helps eliminate potential fire hazards by removing built-up creosote, debris, and ash, while an inspection helps identify any issue that might compromise safety. Together, these services help make sure that your festive celebrations are filled with warmth, not worry.
2. Check Smoke Detectors: A simple, yet essential task that can make all the difference in protecting what matters most – your loved ones and your home. Regularly testing your smoke detectors and replacing the batteries every six months ensures that your devices are always ready to alert you in case of a fire emergency. If you have a gas fireplace, make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are also in good working order, as well.
3. Create a Fire-Safe Zone: Under no circumstances should anything be placed within three feet of your fireplace. Establishing and maintaining this clear, fire-safe zone helps minimize the risk of accidental fires. This includes the Christmas tree, decorations, furniture, curtains, and any other flammable materials.
4. Choose the Right Firewood: Use only well-seasoned hardwoods for your fireplace. Under no circumstances should you toss wrapping paper – or burn your real Christmas tree after the holiday festivities are over.
5. Invest in a Fire Screen: Installing a sturdy fire screen can prevent sparks from escaping the fireplace and landing on nearby surfaces. Fire screens come in a variety of styles and sizes, so you’re bound to find one that perfectly complements your decor while prioritizing safety.
6. Practice Safe Decorating: Be cautious of what you place on the mantel too. Avoid things like greenery, garlands, fabrics, or anything that hangs over the mantel near the flame. You can still hang stockings from the mantel as long as you always remember to remove them when you plan to use the fireplace.
7. Pick the Perfect Tree: Whether you opt for the convenience of an artificial tree or can’t sacrifice the look, feel, and smell of a real tree, we need to remember how to be safe with both. When purchasing an artificial tree, make sure it is a flame-resistant one to minimize fire risks. If you choose a real tree, keep it well-hydrated by watering it daily. If we learned anything from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, it was either how quickly a dry tree can catch fire (or to not let Uncle Lewis smoke in your home).
8. Teach Fireplace Safety to Kids: If you have young kids running around, it’s important to educate them on the dangers of fireplaces and establish clear rules about keeping a safe distance away from it. It’s hard at any age to not be mesmerized by the flames, but they should be encouraged to admire them from a safe spot.
9. Double-Check Decorative Lights: With Christmas lights, you want to make sure there are no frayed wires, damaged bulbs, overloaded electrical outlets, and that the cords are neatly tucked out of the way. All of these things combined contribute to a safe and festive holiday season and shouldn’t be overlooked.
10. Never Leave Fire Unattended: Anytime you leave the house or go to sleep, you must remember to extinguish the fire. An unattended fire can lead to unintended consequences, including the risk of sparks igniting nearby flammable materials.
11. Keep a Fire Extinguisher Handy: Another simple, yet effective way to be prepared in case of an emergency is to keep a functional fire extinguisher nearby. Educate family members on its use, and make sure everyone knows where it’s located.
12. Practice Fire Escape Plans: The last thing you want to happen during an emergency is everyone frantically scrambling because you failed to practice what to do. Pull everyone in your household together and walk through the appropriate emergency procedures. By going over designated exit routes, safe meeting places outside, and ensuring everyone knows how to respond, you’ll be able to minimize the chaos and panic that can ensue during a crisis.
Needing a Dependable Chimney Service Company This Holiday Season? You Can Count on Lou Curley!
With our 12 Days of Fireplace Safety, we hope these tips have added an extra layer of warmth and security to your holiday season. In the meantime, if you find yourself in need of professional chimney services to ensure your fireplace is in top-notch condition, please give Lou Curley Chimney Service a call at 610-626-2439 or request an appointment online.
Let our commitment to safety be the reason you can continue using your fireplace with confidence, peace of mind, and holiday cheer.