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Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

AuTHORED By Kerrie Kelly, FASID

Ah, the holiday season. It starts at Thanksgiving and celebrates the time to gather with loved ones while taking stock of life’s blessings – and eat lots of turkey. Once the feast is devoured and the guests have gone, our thoughts quickly turn to garland, hanging lights, and decking the halls for the holidays.

If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, you understand it’s the ultimate focal point during the holiday season. However, when decorating around it, we must think safety first. Check out our five safety tips to take into consideration to ensure a beautiful, but safe, holiday celebration.

1: Fireplaces and Christmas trees belong together, but not too close! When choosing a spot for your tree, keep it a safe distance from your fireplace. Your fireplace or insert can put off up to 400 degrees of heat, so keep packages, ornaments and the tree at a safe distance. Additionally, home heat makes live trees dry out faster and can turn them into fire hazards. Keep the water reservoir full so your tree remains as hydrated as possible.

2: If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it has a “fire resistant” label. All trees will burn if exposed to flames, but trees manufactured in this manner will resist fire and extinguish faster.

3: Figurines, candles and collectibles can quickly melt or become damaged if the heat from the fireplace rises across the mantle face. Fireplace mantels are the perfect focal point for displaying your most cherished holiday treasures but be mindful of the proximity of decorations. Metal objects can also become quite hot, so consider your décor wisely in this area.

4: Keep garland at a safe distance. Or consider relocating garland to doorways, table tops and stairway banisters instead of dressing mantle areas. We all love beautiful garland to set the tone for the holidays, whether it is from the garden or artificial. Take the same precautions you would with your holiday tree when planning for this.

5: Remember that many holiday decorations are made of flammable materials, so keep them a safe distance away from the heat and flames. Gas fireplace safety is every bit as important as wood fireplace safety, so think twice before hanging or placing anything flammable, such as a stocking and its contents, near your fireplace.

While decorating around your fireplace, remember these safety tips and your family and guests will stay safe and warm during the holidays. How will you decorate for the holidays?


About the Author: Kerrie Kelly, FASID, is an award-winning interior designer and founder of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab based in Northern California. Kerrie is a Fellow, Board Member and Foundation Trustee of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID); Houzz Pro Advisory Board Member; and Member of National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). http://kerriekelly.com

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