If you have young children, you know how they can be curious little creatures who don’t always have the best intuition on how to keep themselves out of harm’s way.
At the Oregon Chimney Guys, we care about the safety and health of your home and household. That is why we want to take the time to pass on some advice for families with small children on how to keep your fireplace as safe as possible. Here are some tips for providing a safe environment for your children while at the same time enjoying the coziness and warmth of a fireplace.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Put a Safety Gate Around the Fireplace
Installing a baby gate around the fireplace hearth is one of the first steps you should take when considering your children’s safety around a fireplace.
A gate will ensure there is a safe distance between your child and the dangerous heat of the flames. It will also prevent bumps and bruises from the hard materials around the fireplace, such as brick and other masonry.
A freestanding fireplace screen is not sturdy enough to protect your child as it can easily be pulled down.
Hearth Fireplace Cushion
Fireplace cushions are specially made to prevent your little ones from injuring themselves on the hard and sharp edges of the hearth. They are made from shock-absorbing foam and are flame retardant. Fireplace cushions are also affordable and easy to install.
Never Leave Your Child Unattended
It’s important to never leave a young child unattended when you have a fire burning. Even with all the safety precautions, one can never be too careful. Always have an adult present when a fire is burning and even for awhile after it has been extinguished.
Install Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Besides burns, bumps, and bruises, fireplaces pose an invisible danger in carbon monoxide.
It is incredibly important to have carbon monoxide alarms installed if you have a fireplace in your home.
Unsafe levels of carbon monoxide can lead to headaches, nausea, fainting, vomiting and even death.
Practice Fire Safety Procedures
It’s important to make it clear to children from a young age that fire isn’t something to play around with and that it should be respected. A slight mistake can cause a serious injury. Stay vigilant and be open and educational about the dangers of fire to your children.