2015-12-16 / Holidays

Make Your Holidays Merry with These Fireplace Tips

(StatePoint) Fireplaces mean warmth, comfort and ambiance -- and there’s no better time of year to enjoy one than when loved ones are gathered together for the holidays.

To make the most of the experience, consider these tips:

Safety First

With some precautions in mind, the fireplace can be the centerpiece to your festivities.

Keep clothing, furniture, draperies and flammable materials at a safe distance. Stockings hung by the chimney with care sound nice, but should be avoided in practice -- there are plenty of safe alternatives for this traditional holiday display, such as the banister or the windows.

Don’t be shy about using your fireplace while you have holiday visitors. Just be sure guests know that it can be very hot during and after use, and remember that children and pets should always be supervised. Keep the remote control (if your unit has one) out of reach.

Factory-provided safety screens, after-market freestanding screens, and barriers help reduce burn risk, as they prevent skin from coming into direct contact with hot glass. You can learn more about fireplace safety and request a safety barrier at heatilator.com/FireplaceSafety.aspx.

What to Know

A new fireplace can be the perfect gift you give yourself this season, and smart technologies are making them more versatile than ever before.

Different needs will guide your choice. Do you want a fireplace that’s more decorative, or are you interested in high heat output? How do you want to start a fire -- with a wall switch, a log, a remote control or a thermostat? Do your research before making any decisions.

Free online resources, available at heatilator.com, can help you determine what fuel choice and style is right for your home -- whether you are looking for a modern or traditional design in a wood-burning, gas, or electric fireplace.

Deck the Mantel

The fireplace can be one of the top areas of the home to showcase your decorating skills -- especially during the holiday season. Save your most treasured trimmings for the mantel. Display frames filled with holiday photos of family and friends, scented candles, garlands with dried berries, flowers and festive ribbons and bowls of seasonal fruit. White, silver, and gold color schemes are beautiful and appropriate for the season too. Just be sure all decorations are safely away from heat and flame.

Make your holidays a little bit merrier by getting your fireplace prepped for the season.

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