Everyone enjoys having a fireplace in their home. It offers comfort and warmth and gives your living space a welcoming feeling. That being said, a fireplace also comes with the responsibility of keeping you, your home, and your loved ones safe from the dangers that it brings. When it comes to curious children around a fireplace, you must take a new level of safety precautions to ensure their well-being. Young children often aren’t aware of the dangers of fire and can get burned or injured due to their curiosity. We’ve made a list of safety precautions you can implement in your home to prevent injuries and dangerous situations caused by a fireplace.
If you have a baby old enough to crawl or walk, chances are you already have a baby gate that prevents them from getting into certain rooms or areas that aren’t safe for them. Consider adding a baby gate around your fireplace if you haven’t already. A gate will prevent them from climbing up on the hearth, reaching into the fire, or making a mess out of the debris.
Glass Door or Screen:
A baby gate will only do so much to prevent curious toddlers from attempting to explore the fireplace. A glass door or screen that can lock eliminates easy access and may even detract from the amusement once the toddler realizes it can only look, not touch. A fireplace screen or door also prevents sparks, embers, or debris from exiting and potentially burning someone or something.
Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detector:
Install a carbon monoxide and smoke detector if you don’t already have them. Whether a child somehow lights something on fire, or there’s an issue with the fireplace itself, causing it to produce Carbon Monoxide, you never know what might happen. It’s always good to have these detectors installed as a precautionary measure.
Padding On Hearth:
Fire, gasses, and debris aren’t the only things you need to worry about for fireplace safety! Many fireplaces have a hearth surrounding them; some are elevated with sharp corners and edges that are dangerous for kids. Crawling babies can hit their heads on the sharp edges, clumsy toddlers can fall and land on the unforgiving corners, and adults can easily trip over the elevated surface. If you have an elevated hearth, you may want to consider installing some padding. You can add a cushion on top to break potential falls, add padding to just the corners and edges, or remodel the entire hearth to be flat, depending on your budget or personal preferences.