Don’t decorate your chimney! It serves a functional, important purpose, and it is important that it is not obstructed by any material that could impair its performance or impact safety. That said… feel free to decorate your mantle and add a fun, festive flair for the holidays! Decorating around your fireplace is a great way to celebrate the season – safely.

5 Tips for Decorating Your Fireplace/Mantle Beautifully – and Safely

1. Follow the 3-Foot Rule

Safety first, folks. You don’t want anything happening to your family, your home… or Santa! The National Fire Protection Association recommends having a 3-foot zone around your fireplace/stove in order to prevent fires. Keep any combustible material out of this zone. This includes decorations, blankets, pillows, wrapping paper, Christmas trees, wreaths, and anything else that could feed a fire.

This also means that, if you have a working fireplace, you should not hang stockings, garland, or other materials that could pose a hazard while the fire is lit. It’s a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher handy as well.

2. Get Your Chimney Cleaned

Again, it’s not as fun as stringing lights or singing carols! But making sure your chimney is professionally cleaned before the heating season is key to a peaceful holiday season. Ideally, this happens in the early fall before you light your first fire, so you’re ready to go.

3. Enjoy the Holidays In a Quintessential Christmas Village

Use your mantle as a mini village, building a world of wonder and delight. If you want to recreate a quaint, old-fashioned town at Christmastime, use the opportunity to set up little houses, figurines, faux gifts under faux trees, wooden woodland animals, and other elements that create a calm, serene atmosphere. And if you want to involve the kids (or your crafty self), do a gingerbread village. It’s a great activity for long winter days, and it will look great on the mantle.

Alternatively, you can honor your faith by setting up a Nativity scene and remembering your reason for the season.

4. Light It Up

Candles are one of the most simple – yet most effective – ways to decorate your holiday mantle. While slim, white candles in elegant tapers or holiday scented options are great, you can also opt for flameless candles so you don’t have to worry about a fire hazard. They will provide a warm, lovely glow without the risk. And if you forget about them… no big deal!

5. Get Help from Nature

You don’t have to spend money to create a beautiful scene. Go out for a walk instead. See if you can gather natural materials to decorate your mantle. Pinecones, evergreen sprigs, winter berries (toxic: place out of reach of children – or “cheat” and use artificial), birchwood, etc., can make a lovely display. It can also double as a fun scavenger hunt for kids on holiday break! You can add a few ornaments and decorations for pops of color as well.

Celebrate the Season Safely

These tips are just the beginning. Really, if you observe the 3-foot rule and take other basic safety precautions, you can decorate your mantle so it perfectly captures your family’s traditions, style, and personality.

Give your household the gift of safety and peace of mind this year. Contact Brick + Ember to ensure your chimney and fireplace are in top condition.