It’s the month before Christmas – the calm before the storm. How are you and your family planning to stay warm? There’s nothing quite like a fire by the fireplace, but beware of the dangers that could cause quite a fright! With some prep, some planning, and fire safety galore, this holiday season is sure to not be a bore.

Keep reading to learn how to keep everyone safe and if you need a new heating appliance, remember, Big Ash is the place! You can reach us online or over the phone at 585-638-0300 – we’d love to help you make your house a home.  

What Should a Holiday Fire Safety Plan Consist Of?

When it comes to general fire safety, especially as the days feel shorter and jam-packed with various to-dos, it’s important to sit down with your family and talk through the best way to handle a fire-related emergency, should one occur. All good fire safety plans should not only be customizable for your home and family, but should also contain the following elements:

  • Know (and practice) your quickest exits. Fire spreads quickly, so it’s important to know the fastest way outside of any given location in your home – no matter its proximity to your hearth. Take time to practice getting everyone out quickly and safely, so no one is unsure what to do in the event of a fire.
  • Make sure your smoke detectors are properly installed and functioning. As handy as these devices are, they are only useful if they’re correctly hooked up and have working batteries. Be sure that you have one on every floor and inside each bedroom – and test the batteries every month, so you can trust they’ll alarm you as intended if a fire starts where it’s not supposed to.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher close to your fireplace. Having a functional, up-to-date fire extinguisher on hand and nearby is a must if you plan to regularly utilize your fireplace this holiday season. Also, be sure that all adults, teens, and older kids know how and when to safely operate it should a need arise.
original infographic for a fireplace safety plan

Tips to Safely Decorate Your Fireplace

In a post about holiday fire safety, we’d be remiss to not mention anything about seasonal decor. Many homeowners wonder if it’s safe to spruce up their mantle and nearby areas if they intend to enjoy fires regularly – and if so, how. With the right balance of awareness, precaution, and stylistic flair, you can create the holiday mantle display of your dreams, without having to sacrifice the picturesque fireside experience.

Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind as you begin to gather your garlands and mount your menorahs:

  • a brown and white dog on a couch by a fireplace that's decorated for ChristmasUse flame retardant or fire-resistant items/materials whenever possible. While it’s rare to find decorations that are entirely fireproof, there are quite a lot of options constructed from fire-safe materials. Plan to look for things that are labeled with “fire-resistant” tags, so you don’t have to worry about moving them back and forth every time you wish to light a fire.
  • Avoid any draping or hanging off the mantle. And yes, this does include stockings…at least when there is a fire burning in your firebox! Any fabrics or garlands that dangle in front of or near a blazing fire create a serious fire hazard. It doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t use them in your decorating, but you should absolutely remove them before every fire.
  • Place your Christmas tree at least 3 feet away from your fireplace. Okay, this tip isn’t exactly about decorating your fireplace, but is equally important when it comes to overall holiday fire safety and awareness. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), all combustible materials like Christmas trees (be they fake or living) should be no closer than 3 feet to your fireplace or stove.

Book Your Annual Chimney Inspection & Cleaning with Big Ash Today

Maintaining safe decorating practices and establishing a reasonable holiday fire safety plan are important ways to reduce your risk of a fire-related tragedy this season. However, they won’t mean much unless your appliance has been properly inspected and swept by a professional before the first burn.

Fortunately, for homeowners in the greater Henrietta, NY area, Big Ash Fireplaces & Stoves has just the right team for the job. Schedule your annual inspection or chimney sweep service now, before it falls to the bottom of your holiday checklist.

You can book with us right here online, or by calling 585-638-0300. And from our family to yours, happy holidays!