Your fireplace has most likely been out of commission this summer but hopefully has been cleaned and inspected already! During the offseason homeowners don’t have to worry about the fireplace unless there’s a problem, but fall is the hearth’s time to shine! Your fireplace is not only a valuable heat source but also the focal point of your entire home. When it’s time to light your fire, it’s also a great time to think about decorating your fireplace and mantel for the fall season and for the holidays.
It’s important to do all you can to keep your fireplace safe and free of clutter even when decorating. It’s not enough to have a safe and clean chimney system and know how to use it properly, you must also make sure that your decorations are safe as well. Coming into the fall and then the holiday season, homeowners will begin to decorate the fireplace. It’s a perfect backdrop for all of your family festivities but can quickly turn to disaster if certain precautions aren’t followed.
Things to Remember When Decorating the Mantel
1. Do not leave decorative items hanging above the fireplace. Garland and lights should be properly secured to the fireplace.
2. Freestanding decorations should be kept far enough away from the fireplace opening that if it falls, it will be a safe distance from the fire.
3. Nothing should be put inside or too near a fireplace, even when the fire is out. Debris left inside a fireplace can become a serious fire hazard when a fire is burning.
4. Anything attached to the chimney above the mantel should be installed properly and only if your certified chimney sweep deems it safe.
5. Always use decorations that are flame-retardant. Do not place dried branches, limbs, or any organic material near your fireplace or on your mantel.
Mantel Ideas from the Professionals
Melons and Fruits – Melons and apples are a beautiful decoration for the fall and are not flammable. You can pair pumpkins and gourds with vases full of turned leaves. Plastic leaves are not as flammable as dried leaves and placing them in vases keeps them contained. You can also fill large vases or bowls with the apples to keep them from rolling.
Photos – Family or fall photos are a great way to decorate the mantel. Include decorative photos of leaves, landscapes, and holiday combinations between family photos.
Metal – Some bronzed or buffed metal can be the perfect shade to compliment the changing seasons. Metal vases, pitchers, candleholders, and baskets can create a great look for your mantel and keep items safely contained and away from the fire.
Early Christmas – Let Christmas come early by bringing together rustic scenes, photos, silhouettes, and garland. The mantel and fireplace are exactly where the holiday spirit thrives in the house, and the magic will begin with the first spark of the fire.