Is It Safe To Decorate Fireplace

Is It Safe To Decorate Fireplace? A Comprehensive Guide

The warmth, togetherness, and festivity that fall and winter usher tend to spill over into your home decorations. Decking out your space for different seasons and holidays can become a cherished tradition, and the fireplace, stove, and hearth often take center stage because it’s a natural focal point – and because it play a role in holiday lore! But while decorating the fireplace can bring extra joy to the season, home safety must remain an ultimate priority. In this Decorate Fireplace comprehensive guide, we will explore the safety aspects of decorating your fireplace and how to enjoy a beautifully decorated hearth without compromising on safety.

How Far Should Decor Be From My Fireplace?

A good place to start in safely decorating your fireplace is knowing the three-foot rule. All combustible decorations should be placed a minimum of three feet away from the fireplace or stove. This rule applies to objects of all kinds – furniture, rugs, curtains, baskets, and other decorative items. Keeping this distance ensures that your decorations won’t accidentally catch fire when the fireplace is in use.

What Can I Put On My Fireplace Mantel?

The mantel is an attractive option for decorating but needs to be given special attention due to its proximity to the fireplace. Fire-safe items: Choose non-flammable or flame-resistant decorations for placing on the mantel, and make sure they’re stable or anchored firmly down. A decorative item that’s prone to tipping over can be problematic if it falls while the fire is lit. Stone, ceramic, metal, and glass items: These materials won’t burst into flame if they get too hot, but be mindful that their surface can get very hot to the touch. Candles (with caution): Candles require special attention. Wax candles can soften on a mantel, causing them to melt at an accelerated rate, and their open flames should be carefully attended to. Battery-operated LED candles can mimic the glow of real candles without the fire risk. If you opt for real candles, make sure they’re securely anchored. Stockings (if you’re careful): Stockings qualify as decorations that dangle from the mantel. Does this mean this holiday favorite is a no-go? Not if you’re careful. Either remove stockings from the mantel before lighting fires or find a similarly festive spot to hang them if moving stockings seems tiresome.

What to Avoid?

  • Greenery and garlands: Although festive, these should not dangle from the mantel, as they can become too hot and pose a fire hazard.
  • Wreaths and similar items: Consider hanging them on the wall instead of over the fireplace opening, especially if they’re heavy.
  • Interactive items: If you have interactive decorations that children may enjoy playing with, consider keeping them opposite the fireplace or in another room to prevent accidents.

How Far Should a Christmas Tree Be From the Fireplace or Stove?

Christmas trees are one of the most iconic holiday decorations. To safely enjoy your Christmas tree, be sure to maintain the three-foot rule – keep the tree three feet away from the fireplace, stoves, and other heating sources. This distance helps prevent the tree from catching fire due to the heat emitted by the fireplace. It’s also important to ensure the tree is stable, and if you have a real tree, keeping it well-watered throughout the season is crucial. Dry trees can become highly combustible, making them a fire hazard. Whether you choose a hydrated real tree or a flame-resistant artificial tree, both are safer options. Is It Safe To Decorate Fireplace

More Fireplace Decor Safety Tips

Invest in a screen: Fireplace screens can serve both decorative and safety functions. They prevent sparks and embers from escaping while adding an aesthetic touch to your fireplace. A screen not only enhances safety but also adds an extra layer of protection, keeping the fire where it belongs. Purchase smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Home safety must-haves also include smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, which serve to help you respond quickly in an emergency. Be sure that they’re in place with fresh batteries and test them regularly. Keeping an ABC fire extinguisher nearby and ensuring your family is well-versed in fire safety will also help ensure a safe holiday season. Use appropriate fireplace fuel: It’s crucial to fuel your fires properly. Whatever your fuel source is, other fuel types and non-fuel items should never make their way into your stove or firebox. Bits of packaging or discarded wrapping paper can contain toxins that can be released by burning or may burn unpredictably. Stick to using suitable fuels, and never use materials that weren’t intended for your fireplace or stove. Book annual chimney inspections: Be sure to adhere to the recommended annual chimney inspection. Over time, combustible creosote can build up in your chimney flue, and wear and deterioration can make your chimney components less reliable and unsafe. A chimney that’s swept and in good working order will simply do its job better – venting smoke and gases safely away from your living space so you can enjoy your fireplace or wood stove with ease.

Keep Your Home Safer – Count On Us

The health and safety of your home and family are top priorities for us. That’s why our certified technicians take great care with every job we take on. If you have questions about fireplace safety or require an inspection or fireplace facelift to get your hearth holiday-ready, let us know! We’re happy to serve.


Decorating your fireplace can add warmth and charm to your home during the holiday season. However, it’s crucial to do so with safety in mind. Adhering to the three-foot rule, using fire-safe decorations, and ensuring your Christmas tree is well-hydrated are essential steps to enjoy a beautifully decorated fireplace without risking your home’s safety. By following these guidelines and considering additional safety measures, you can create a cozy and safe environment for you and your family to celebrate the season by the hearth. Remember, a safe and warm home is the best gift of all.  

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