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Decorate Your Mantel Safely This Holiday Season

If you’re like many Americans, your holiday decorations are well underway. If you have a fireplace, the mantel may be the focal point of your entire holiday decor, and it may be the most dangerous. Before you light up the fire, make sure your decorations are not a fire hazard.

Check Tags on Decorations Decorate Your Mantel Safely This Holiday Image - Seattle WA - Pristine Sweeps

Check labels on your store-bought decorations for warnings against placing near flames. Some items such as Garland, stockings, pine cones, and branches will burn. Keep these items safely away from the fire.

The Top of the Mantel

If the mantel is constructed correctly, it is a safe distance from the heat of the fire and it should be safe to decorate the top without fear. Since the mantel is already higher than the fireplace, it isn’t a good idea to place tall decorations that may tip over, fall off, and land near the fireplace opening. If you decorate with loose items that can roll, like pine cones or nuts, make sure these items are in a dish of some kind. If using branches or flowers, make sure they are in an appropriately-sized vase that holds them securely and will not tip.

The Chimney

Hanging decorations on the chimney is a popular idea, and one that’s been around for many years. Homeowners like to hang family portraits or art on the chimney, and around Christmastime, wreaths are a common replacement. Before hanging anything onto your chimney face, you should be sure it’s safe. If your chimney gets hot to the touch while a fire is burning, it is not safe to hang any decorations. Also, this indicates a possible problem with the lining system designed to contain the heat. You should not use glue hooks to hang decorations onto masonry because these come off easily, causing your decoration to fall—possibly into or near your fire. If you’re unsure what type of fastener to use to hang your decorations, consult your trusted chimney professionals. Pristine Sweeps offers advice and services, and a chimney expert is only a phone call away.

Hanging Decorations

The traditional use of stockings is to hang them from the mantel. This is the original idea behind the stocking, since hanging by the fire was the easiest way to dry and warm wet socks. This is because the heat from the fire reaches them there! This is no place to hang your holiday stockings while a fire is burning. If a fireplace will dry a wet sock, imagine what it can do to a dry one made of a flammable material like those commonly sold in US stores. Whatever you use to fasten your stockings, make sure that they are easily removed so that they are safely out of the way when you light your fire. When you remove your stockings, make sure they are not placed near candles, scented wax heaters, or anywhere they may fall into the fire.

Before you decorate, it’s a good idea to make a plan so that a poor decision isn’t made in haste. Oversee children as they decorate and talk to them about fire safety. Place your tree away from the fireplace, keep it watered, and plan a fire escape with your family.

Pristine Sweeps wishes you a happy and safe holiday season! Call 206-574-8414 for questions or concerns about your fireplace and mantel.

By Aaron Woodward | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Why Have Glass Fireplace Doors?

Over the years you may find yourself updating your fireplace for various reasons. You might update your fireplace and chimney for cosmetic reasons, for repairs, or for better efficiency. Spring is filled with installations, upgrades, and inspections for Pristine Sweeps. In addition, we specialize in custom glass door installation and do it often!

Why Have Glass Fireplace Doors Image - Seattle WA - Pristine SweepsBenefits of Glass Doors

Modern factory-built, or pre-fabricated fireplaces and inserts are equipped with glass doors. There are many benefits of glass doors that have led to homeowners adding them to their existing masonry fireplaces. Pristine Sweeps offers this service so that our customers can benefit from glass doors even if they have an older fireplace.

  • Efficiency.
    Adding custom glass doors to a traditional masonry fireplace can increase efficiency substantially. The airtight seal can create a closed unit like that of an insert or stove. This creates high heat that radiates behind the glass, despite its seal. With the glass doors closed, you can also close the damper, keeping the heat from escaping out the chimney.
  • Style.
    Pristine Sweeps has access to the best products on the market, because we only offer the best for our customers. Glass doors can be styled in contemporary, traditional, sleek, ornate, and more. It’s a great option during a remodel or simple upgrade.
  • Downdraft Diversion.
    High winds can cause a downdraft that shoots into your chimney, pushing smoke and heat into your house. During the summer, you can waste energy trying to cool air as warm air is pushed inside through the chimney. Through winter, the downdraft can cause a smoky fireplace and make it difficult to light and keep a steady flame going. Glass doors can prevent downdraft problems while the fireplace is in use and when it’s not. Another option to avoid downdrafts is to have a wind deflector installed onto you chimney cap.
  • Safety.
    Glass doors can provide an added amount of safety when your fire is burning out and when children are visiting. Though radiant heat can still cause burns through touched glass, it can prevent a fall into a fire or hot coals.

Enjoy the Same Fire with Glass Doors

If you have an open, traditional fireplace, it can be drafty and unruly. If you’re looking for actual heat from your fireplace, and not merely ambiance, you can transform it by adding glass doors. The beautiful glass still allows you a full view of the flames, while allowing for radiant heat to warm the room, perfect for zone heating.

Pristine Sweeps has been in operation since 2008, and continues to put customer satisfaction and safety first. It’s because of this goal that we belong to the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG), attend the 5-day National Chimney Sweep Convention every year, and we are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

If you want the best for your family and your fireplace, you can benefit from glass doors and from Pristine Sweeps. Schedule an appointment today and your fireplace can be ready for the first fire this fall!