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New Jersey Gets Fired-Up for Fall

There’s nothing like New Jersey fall and winter with friends and family at the fireplace.

Here at Apex, it’s the season for family gatherings. Friends and family get together and reminisce about the good times. If you are like us, you have fond memories of gathering by the fireplace and enjoying the warm glow. The scents of smoldering coals blend with a loved one’s perfume or holiday feast. A gift that keeps on giving is a grand experience you’ll speak of for years to come.

How can you get your fireplace ready?

Some essential processes for having a fireplace clean and ready for use are first ensuring the fireplace is cool before cleaning. Wait at least twenty-four hours after your last fire before removing ashes and debris. Wear rubber gloves and a mask if you are cleaning the fireplace yourself. A cleaning solution such as trisodium phosphate (TSP), bleach, and warm water can be recommended for a deep clean, but you should consider using a professional service to complete this process safely and effectively. Clean the fireplace doors and grates from residue and ash. We recommend you consider cleaning fireplace accessories outdoors to keep a mess from inside your home.

Most importantly, you need to clean your chimney. Chimney fire safety week is in October. Now is the perfect time to have a professional do a thorough job so your home can be safe for this fireplace season. Here in New Jersey, when the chill air comes in after a long hot summer, you will be glad you had your fireplace ready for a cozy fall and winter outside of the cold. Make sure your friends and family feel safe and warm inside your home.

Fireplace Safety: Be sure you and your family are safe

According to FEMA, “Creosote is a black or brown residue that can be crusty and flaky—tar-like, drippy and sticky—or shiny and hardened. All forms are highly combustible.” You must keep this residue from building up in your fireplace and chimney to prevent fires from getting out of control. Other principles in using your fireplace safely are to put the fire out before you go to sleep and don’t leave the fireplace unattended. Don’t burn paper in your fireplace or use unseasoned wood. This can prevent toxic fumes. Please also use a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out.

Decor

While you prepare your home for this season’s events, check off every item on your recipe list and tune the old sound system with the perfect playlist — which are the special touches to keep your guests in natural delight?

Some of the best accommodations for guests are in the ambiance of the moment. One center of fondness is your home fireplace, and there are a few things you can do to accent this distinctive feature. Here are some tips to give your fireplace a clean look.

Add contrasting colors among green foliage. Dyed grasses work well, especially against neutral-colored walls.

Give height to your mantel. Place tall figures or foliage, even if partially covering a backdrop centerpiece painting.

Use an asymmetrical form. According to Livingetc, “Rather than crowd the whole mantel with decorations, focus on one side for a look that feels really uncurated, like the greenery is growing from the fireplace.”

Fun Activities

Now that you have your fireplace beautifully decorated, what can you do to make it feel accessible and fun for your visitors to enjoy? One of the best tips in having your home holiday-ready for entertaining(if you have a working fireplace) is to place large floor cushions nearby for your guests to gather comfortably and really feel the warmth and intimacy.

Gatherings by fire-side are an excellent opportunity for family photos.

Unlike a TV, a fireplace can keep your guests focused on group activities.

Create a great nook at the fireplace to work on crafts together.

Have a sing-a-long.

Make S’mores.

It is vital to keep your fireplace clean to make the most of your fireplace activities. It is essential for enjoyment without worrying about soot and dirt or dirty smells. It is also crucial for safety from potential fires and smoke filling the home.

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