It’s that time of the year where everyone’s getting ready to ‘deck the halls with bows of holly’. And of course, some will want to adorn their fireplace with some seasonal flourishes, as it becomes an ever-more important focal point of the home.
Without wishing to play Scrooge, however tempting it is, this festive craze carries a really significant fire risk, and careful thought should be given as to how you can incorporate your fireplace into the Christmas spirit without putting you and your family in danger.
As a general rule of thumb, I strongly urge you not place any decorations within the ‘boundaries’ of the fireplace; for example on the hearth, in the chimney breast recess where the stove sits or on the chimney breast itself.
And it’s not just open fires which are a risk. Closed appliances such as multi-fuel stoves and woodburners give off really intense heat, so you should never place anything close by which could catch fire, smoulder or melt.
If you have a ‘fake’ chimney (a twin wall insulated system) then decorations should be kept at an appropriate distance from any flue pipe, even those which are on the ceiling.
Bear in mind as well that decorations can fall/blow into the fireplace installation area so keep them as far away as possible and always use a suitable fireguard.
And finally, make sure that your carbon monoxide alarm remains fixed in the appropriate position and has no decorations close by as this could very well hamper its ability to detect the ‘silent killer’.
Christmas is a time for joy and happiness. And by observing a few simple steps, it can also be a safe one as well.
Mr Soot Chimney Sweep is a HETAS Approved Sweep, and member of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps, offering a professional and friendly chimney sweep and stove service in Wigan, Stockport, St Helens, Ormskirk, Chorley and surrounding areas. Book Mr Soot online or call 0800 0541154.