As the halls of Britain’s homes get decked out with boughs of holly, there is every chance that those with a fireplace will be adding some seasonal flourishes around the hearth and mantel in the traditional way. But for those with an operational fire or stove, HETAS – the not-for-profit solid fuel safety standards organisation – is warning that this could prove to be a serious fire risk.
Alan Young, compliance manager for HETAS, advises: “It may seem an obvious reminder cautioning people to keep flammable decorations a safe distance from the fireplace. But there are some who will fail to identify how far an ember or a spark can travel.
“Your stove or fireplace can generate a lot of heat which could lead to decorations catching alight. The instructions for your stove will have clear guidance on safe distances to combustible materials; be sure you stick to them.
“In addition, be mindful when decorating not to obstruct, move or remove your carbon monoxide (CO) alarm so that your family remains safe and protected should this poisonous gas be emitted from your fire.”
For tips and advice on making the most of your solid fuel appliance, visit hetas.co.uk.