Homeowners often consider Halloween the beginning of the holiday season. It is the first major holiday, and the first real chance they’ve had to decorate home and hearth since July. Many fall decorations resemble leaf-less sticks, fallen leaves, or carved pumpkins. These decorations may be used as you wish as long as your fireplace isn’t currently in use. Today I want to share several ideas that will help keep your Halloween safe and happy, even if you do light a fire.
Don’t Put Decorations Too Close to the Fireplace
Like all other home decor options, don’t place decorations near the fireplace if you plan to use the fireplace. Flame and decorations do not mix well. A nicely decorated mantle brings a new life into a room, and is something homeowners take a lot of pride in. Seasonal or holiday decorations allow the homeowner to change up the overall decor several times per year. Move decorations to a safe distance if you decide to light the fireplace before putting them back into storage.
Don’t Decorate the Top of the Chimney
While the idea of placing a carved pumpkin on top of the chimney has a certain appeal, avoid it. Squirrels visit carved pumpkins as they search for food. They don’t understand that your carved pumpkin is empty, so they will dig and break into the hull in search of what they’re sure is there. The pumpkin may accidentally fall down into the flue and create a blockage. From there, the pumpkin will rot and create a very bad smell on the inside of the chimney.
Fireplace Decoration for Halloween
Decorating for Halloween is exciting. You can find so many great decoration ideas on websites like Pinterest, Facebook, and other social media. If you never light the first fire of the year until after Halloween, feel free to decorate the interior and exterior of your fireplace any way you choose. You may even choose to use lights to mimic the appearance of fireplace flame without the heat. But don’t light a fire while you have decorations on the hearth.
Fireplace and Chimney Safety
Don’t underestimate the importance of a yearly inspection and cleaning for your fireplace and chimney. If you have one-eighth of an inch of creosote buildup on the inside of the flue, it should be cleaned immediately. Creosote is a thick, tar-like substance that is created as wood is burned in the fireplace. You can take specific methods to slow the formation of creosote, but you cannot prevent it entirely.
Your best course of action to combat creosote is to hire a chimney sweep at least once per year to inspect and clean the chimney and fireplace. If you’re in the Pennsylvania area or Delaware County, call me for an estimate at 610-626-2439.