The fireplace is often the focal point in a living room and therefore an ideal place to spruce up for the holidays. However, it’s important to observe safety precautions in doing so because some décor can be fire hazards. Christmas garlands, for example, make the hearth lovelier, but these can easily catch fire with their thin needles.

As the holidays are the season for enjoying the company of family and friends, an accident is the last thing you would want to happen. Here are a few safety measures to help ensure a worry-free and safe holiday.

A closed firebox reduces fire risks when decorating the mantel (Photo courtesy of Nest of Posies)
A closed firebox reduces fire risks when decorating the mantel (Photo courtesy of Nest of Posies)

Avoid decorating the firebox

The mantel above the fireplace is the ideal location for foliage. Place your garlands on the mantel shelf, and fasten them to the surface using non-flammable materials. Make sure that the foliage doesn’t dangle to avoid it catching fire. Other ornaments such as Christmas balls, angels, or stockings should be kept away from the fire box. A closed fireplace setup, pictured above, allows you safely drape décor from the mantel.

Use candles with care

If you plan to use decorative candles to accent garlands, ensure the safety of your home and family by using wide candle holders. This way, the flames don’t reach the needles if the candles burn down to the end of their wicks. Remember to keep an eye on the candles and extinguish the flames before leaving the room. You may also opt for our flameless, battery-operated candles as a safer alternative to traditional candlesticks.

Use fire-retardant decorations

Be sure to choose garlands and wreaths made with fire-retardant materials, which is a feature of Balsam Hill foliage. Our décor has been awarded the Good Housekeeping seal since 2009, after passing a number of product quality tests, among which is a flammability check.

Check those lightbulbs

When using wreaths and garlands that have built-in lights around the fireplace, ensure that all the bulbs are screwed in properly. There should be no exposed wiring that may cause a short circuit. Keep wires and cords away from the fire box.

Install a fire extinguisher near the fireplace

Like Christmas trees, most foliage products are decorated with Christmas lights, which can be potential fire hazards.  Place a fire extinguisher at least two feet away from the furnace. Keep track of its expiration date, and replace it when necessary.  Make sure that everyone in the household knows how operate the extinguisher properly.

Getting your home decorated for the holidays is an important family tradition that requires you to ensure the safety of your loved ones and the protection of your property from hazards. Make sure to follow the safety tips we’ve described above when decorating the fireplace for a merry and worry-free celebration.

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