In “A Smoky Mountain Christmas,” Dolly Parton sings, “I’m dreaming of a Smoky Mountain Christmas/With the kids around the fireplace/Stringing popcorn for the tree.” It’s a heartwarming picture — what’s not to love about a crackling fire and an old-fashioned Christmas tree covered in ornaments and strings of popcorn?

But, it’s also a scene that requires some common-sense safety preparations. First off, Christmas decorations and the tree should all be kept a

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TN Fireplace and Chimney is encouraging homeowners to take extra precautions to ensure gas safety this holiday season.

respectful distance away from your fireplace. Both artificial and real trees can burn, so it’s best to be cautious.

If you choose to go with a fresh tree, your best bet is to buy a fresh-cut one with bright green needles that don’t come off when you run your hand over the branches. Cut an inch or two off the bottom of the trunk and put the tree into a tree stand that can hold plenty of water. Add water daily.

However, dried-out Christmas trees will burn, which is why you should not place your Christmas tree near your fireplace, in direct sunlight or near heat registers or radiators. Christmas trees don’t need to be kept warm, and all of those things will dry out your Christmas tree prematurely. Having your tree near your fireplace might make a pretty picture, but it’s a bad idea.

For the same reason, it’s not a good idea to have dried-out evergreen boughs around your mantle. They don’t mix well with lit candles either. Unattended candles, it should be noted, are a cause of house fires year-round. It’s better to use battery-operated candles that look and smell real without the fire hazard.

While you don’t want to use your fireplace on Christmas Eve because of Santa, you’ll want a crackling fire Christmas Day, so make sure your fireplace is ready. That’s where your Knoxville fireplace experts at TN Fireplace & Chimney come in. While you’re enjoying your fire with family nearby and Christmas beverages in hand, your fireplace and chimney are working hard. Behind all that beauty are high heat, creosote, smoke and noxious gases, all of which must be safely vented out your chimney.

Getting your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned on a regular basis should be a part of your routine home maintenance. There’s no hard and fast rule about the frequency of chimney cleaning — some people use their fireplaces often and some only occasionally — but an annual inspection can help you make an informed decision.

We want your family and home to be safe for the holidays. Give us a call at (865) 922-2262 to make sure that your fireplace and chimney are in shape to be part of your Christmas celebration!

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