A warm fire in your home’s fireplace on a chilly night can be cozy, but when you have small children, your fireplace can be quite dangerous to curious little ones. Little hands can reach for the brightly colored flames, causing burns. Or, toddlers learning to walk can trip and fall, hitting their head against the sharp edges of a hearth. Or, a fireplace poker may look like a fun sword to play with that can injure siblings or playmates. Therefore, to protect your children from these potential hazards, you need to childproof your hearth and fireplace.
Some things you can do to make your hearth and fireplace more kid-friendly are:
- Install heat-resistant glass doors. Glass doors will help keep your child away from the fire and prevent hot sparks from flying into the room. Heat-resistant glass is cool to the touch, protecting little fingers from burns. Also, consider installing a latch or lock to prevent your child from opening the doors and pinching delicate fingers.
- Put up a fireplace screen or hearth gate. A fireplace screen is placed on the floor or hearth in front of the firebox. It can safely keep your child from reaching into the fire. However, make sure the screen is designed to stand firmly on its own, so it won’t topple easily if pulled or leaned on by a child. A hearth gate is like a fence with a gate that surrounds the perimeter of your hearth and fireplace to keep your child out, but allow you to get in to start a fire or add more wood. A hearth gate will need to be mounted to the walls on either side of the fireplace for added stability and security.
- Cushion your hearth with padding. Hearth padding can protect your child from your rough bricks or stones of your hearth. Cover just the edges or the whole hearth, it’s an inexpensive solution that’s easy to install and later remove.
- Keep matches and fireplace tools out of reach. Store matches and tools in a secure place that small children cannot get into.
- Supervise your children whenever your fireplace is in use. Never leave small children in the room alone when you have a fire going. As your child grows older, teach him/her about fireplace safety and continually re-enforce the “fireplace rules” every year.
By taking the time to childproof your fireplace, you can gain peace of mind that your child will be protected from potential hazards.
Another way you can safeguard your entire family is to have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually by the chimney sweeps at T.J.’s Chimney Service in Greenfield, IN. A clean chimney reduces your risk of having a potentially dangerous chimney fire that turns into a devastating house fire. Contact T.J.’s Chimney Service today to keep your whole family safe.