How To Safely Decorate Your Fireplace

A fireplace is no longer just a corner where you burn wood to keep your rooms warm in winters. It has almost become a major part of interior design. Fireplace decor is as important as the curtains in your room or your sofas. Interior designers would have the furniture facing the fireplace, put on a scenery on the wall just above the mantel. You also put your favorite decors on the mantel to give your fireplace a catchy look. Fireplace decor is important but as most of the home fires start from the fireplace, safety measures are to be taken and if you ask a firefighter, he’d openly tell you not to decorate it at all. So safety measures are to be taken when decorating your fireplace.

Decorating Your Fireplace

A fireplace that already has some architectural components, would not need a lot of decoration. But you can always improvise and find ways to give your fireplace an attractive look.

  • You can put framed pictures or artwork on the mantel. There are all sorts of decorative objects available in the market that you can choose from according to your taste.
  • The space over the mantel is sometimes used to hang a mirror or a scenery. You can hang a large framed artwork over the fireplace if it is tall.
  • The hearth is usually a busy spot where you make fires, so it would be better to stack only firewood or fireplace tools there.
  • You could also put tall objects, like a simple vase, just beside the hearth.

Safety Guidelines

Fireplace decor is incomplete without some safety guidelines for what good is decoration if it’s not safe? Nowadays people use fireplace inserts to prevent from losing maximum heat up the chimney. There are gas fireplace inserts, electric fireplace inserts that help keep most of the heat in the room. Now these electric fireplace inserts or the gas ones give off a lot of heat that could damage plastic decoration pieces. The sparks and embers from the hearth are also capable of causing a house fire. Every year, house fires occur because people put flammable objects too close to the hearth that is very dangerous. More details in this post.

To keep safe from a house fire, fireplace decor should be done keeping the following rules in mind:

  • Keep the mantel at least 12 inches away from the top of the fireplace.
  • The hearth should be extended 16 to 20 inches from the top of the fireplace.
  • The fireplace opening should be overlapped by the hearth by at least 8 inches.
  • The material of the hearth and fireplace surround should not be combustible.
  • It is safe for the mantel to be made of some combustible material.
  • The decorations should not be below the mantel while there’s a fire in the hearth.
  • If you have candles on the mantel, make sure they’re dripless.
  • Don’t forget to use a fireplace screen while you burn wood.

Some Additional Safety Measures

It is of prime importance that you get  a chimney sweep every once in a while to keep your chimney clean because creosote builds up in the chimney and it might catch fire. You can also hire a masonry expert or a licensed contractor to maintain and repair your fireplace surround.

Find out more infromations here: http://www.housebeautiful.com/room-decorating/g1280/cozy-fireplaces-0812/

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