Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Santa's Friend Chimney Service Blog

Fireplace Safety Tips for the Holidays

Your fireplace is your focal point for entertaining and decorating during the holidays, but it is important to keep in mind a few safety suggestions and tips during this busy time. The holidays are about celebrations, loved ones, and joy, and the last thing you would want to experience during this season is a house fire. As reported by HouseLogic, residental fires increase by more than double during the holidays. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) cited over twice the amount of open-flame fires on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The amount of damage from these holiday fires are even more alarming as the number of deaths per 1,000 house fires increases by 70 percent, and the amount of property loss is 34 percent higher than from fires on any other day of the year. As you can tell from our name, Santa’s Friend Chimney Service loves the holidays, and we want everyone to be as safe as possible and enjoy spending time with friends and family by the fireplace. Remembering the following safety tips will help you reduce the risk of a devastating residential fire this holiday season.


Fireplace Safety Tips for the Holidays - Jackson MS - Santa's FriendAfter unwrapping gifts, some people have been known to throw the scraps of wrapping paper into the fireplace or stove to burn. Unfortunately, these people found out that burning holiday paper in this manner is not very safe. The dyes used on wrapping paper can cause the fire to spark and produce flash fires. These types of fires can quickly spread into your home, especially if you have combustible items like decorations around your hearth for the holidays. Additionally, you should never burn your Christmas tree in the fireplace or stove. This can also become hazardous very quickly. The safest thing to burn in your fireplace and stove is seasoned firewood and nothing else.


Even if you are only burning seasoned wood, hot sparks and embers can jump from the fireplace and easily ignite a residential fire if any combustible items are nearby. Santa’s Friend Chimney Service understands how important the hearth area can be when it comes to holiday decorations, but you should never hang decorations made from combustible or flammable materials around the fireplace. You should also take care to keep your Christmas tree away from the fireplace or stove. Even though the image of the tree right beside the fireplace is a very cozy holiday picture, the majority of holiday fires involve Christmas trees. No matter if your tree is real or artificial, it can be very dangerous to place it too close to your fireplace or stove.


If you are entertaining friends and family with small children during the holidays, you want to ensure that there is always adult supervision in the room with the fireplace or stove. Never leave children alone in the same room as a burning fire. This also goes for pets. Even if you have fireplace doors and a protective screen, you can never be too careful when it comes to fire safety and children and animals. Accidents can happen quickly, so even when you are in the room with kids and animals, keep an eye on them to be sure they are not playing too close to the fire.

Santa’s Friend Chimney Service wishes you all a safe and happy holiday season. Contact us at 800-390-9939, if you have any chimney or fireplace needs to be able to safely enjoy your fireplace over the holidays.

By Jim Robinson on December 9th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Proper Ash Removal

When you use a wood-burning fireplace or stove, you must perform a few maintenance tasks to keep your fireplace or stove working efficiently and safely. One of these tasks is removing ashes from the firebox at least once a week during burning season. If you allow ashes to build up, it not only creates a messy situation, but it could also start an accidental fire that could spread into your home. One of our top priorities at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service is fire safety, and we would like to share with you some information from Urban Overalls about safely removing ashes.

Why do I need to remove ashes once a week?

Proper Ash Removal - Jackson MS - Santa's FriendBesides the fact that hot embers could possibly start an accidental fire, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends removing ashes because the grate may burn out quicker than normal if a layer of ashes is deep enough to come into contact with the grate. Additionally, you will not be able to put as much firewood into your fireplace or stove if you have a very deep layer of ashes in the firebox.

How do I safely remove ashes?

First, you will need the right tools: a metal container with a lid, a metal ash shovel, protective gloves, and a face mask to reduce the risk of breathing in ash residue. Open your fireplace or stove doors and begin scooping out the ashes with the shovel. Place the ashes in your metal container. If you come across any smoldering ashes, leave them in the firebox. Leave a layer of ashes that is around one half to one inch to provide insulation to the firebox. This will make it easier to start your next fire. Once you have scooped out the ashes into the container, place the container outside on a non-combustible surface such as concrete or brick to prevent an accidental fire.

What are some helpful tips for safely removing ashes?


  • Wait at least 24 hours after the fire has been extinguished before you begin removing ashes.


  • Treat all ashes as if they were hot.


  • Always close the container with its lid to keep the ashes contained if it should get knocked over by heavy winds. You also want to keep oxygen from coming into contact with these ashes as it could ignite live embers lurking inside.


  • Pour a little water on top of the ashes in the container after removing them.


  • Wait at least three days before disposing of the ashes. You can dump fully cooled ashes into a garbage bag.
  • You can sprinkle ashes onto your garden beds or work the ashes into your compost pile, if you wish.

Want more fire safety tips? Contact us at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to find out more information on using your fireplace or stove safely.

By Jim Robinson on November 11th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , | Leave a Comment