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13+ Ways To Childproof a Fireplace: Baby Safety

VentFree is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Article At A Glance
  1. Gate it
  2. Add a glass door
  3. Add a screen
  4. Childproof lock screen doors
  5. Keep chimney clean
  6. Have a fire extinguisher
  7. Have a working carbon monoxide detector
  8. Safeguard the hearth
  9. Don’t use it as a storage area
  10. Teach children fireplace rules
  11. Have nearby water jugs

My kids love the fireplace because it’s warm and cozy in the cold months here in Nebraska. They are always rubbing their cold hands on the hot stone hearth or sitting in front of it while they are playing with toys.

One possible reason why the kids are so happy around the fireplace is because of its warmth. When they are too cold, they can warm themselves up by sitting in front of the fire or touching its warm walls- it’s just fundamental to human nature!

They get to be entertained by the fire while I’m cooking dinner. It’s a great way to spend time together and create memories- but childproofing a traditional fireplace, or even a pellet stove, is of utmost importance. In this guide, we’ll show you some common sense ways you can childproof your fireplace.

How to Childproof a Fireplace

Put a Gate Around Your Fireplace

Fireplaces should be kept inaccessible to children at all times. The best way to ensure this is by putting a child safety gate around the fireplace to prevent access. If you don’t have kids and will never allow anyone under 18 near your fireplace, you won’t need one. A child safety gate can be buckled into place and removed when not in use. Gates should be tall and sturdy and made out of the same material as your fireplace (wood, brick, etc.).

Add a Glass Door to Your Fireplace

Childproof a Fireplace

A glass door is an additional precaution that can be taken to limit children’s exposure to fireplaces. The doors not only look great and add a stylish touch, but they also serve the purpose of restricting access to the fireplace while still allowing you to enjoy it. They are instrumental if your fireplace has a screen but no actual doors or covers on it during the fall or winter.

Stop the Spread of Fire with a Screen

If you have a gas fireplace, then you won’t need to worry about this step. If your fireplace is wood burning, you will need to install a screen in front of it to stop sparks from flying out into the room and igniting something that could catch on fire. The screen will catch the sparks and prevent them from spreading out into the room, thus preventing a potential fire hazard.

Install Childproof Locks on Your Fireplace Doors

Childproof locks are an excellent way to ensure that your fireplace doors don’t accidentally open while you have children in the house. These locks are designed specifically for this purpose. They are latches that can be installed on both glass fireplace doors and traditionally-styled fireplace doors to restrict access.

Make Sure You Keep Your Chimney Clean at All Times

Make Sure You Keep Your Chimney Clean at All Times

One of the most important ways to childproof your fireplace is to keep the chimney clean. Not only is it an essential safety precaution, but it can also prevent fires that are caused by creosote buildup. Creosote is a flammable substance that accumulates in wood-burning fireplaces when not properly cleaned. It acts as kindling and can easily catch fire. You must have your chimney cleaned every year to ensure this doesn’t happen to you.

Keep Your Fire Extinguisher Handy

While your fireplace must be kept clean, it is equally vital that you keep a working fire extinguisher handy if something catches fire. Make sure you know how to use it and check it regularly to ensure it is still in working order. This way, you will put out any fires as they start, thus preventing them from getting out of hand and becoming dangerous.

Have a Working Carbon Monoxide Detector

If your fireplace is gas, then this step isn’t necessary. If you have a traditional wood-burning fireplace, you must have carbon monoxide detectors installed in each room of your home. Carbon monoxide can be deadly, especially when mixed with other chemicals in the air (vapors etc.). It is an odorless and colorless gas that is released when your wood burns. Make sure you have one installed in the room where your fireplace is located and other rooms in your home if you are burning wood.

Protect Your Children From the Fireplace Hearth

Protect Your Children From the Fireplace Hearth

One of the most dangerous spots in your fireplace is the hearth. It is located directly in front of the fire and very close to it. When working, a lot of heat will be generated here. If you have materials resting on top of it, they can easily catch fire if too close to the flames. A simple way to make sure this doesn’t happen is simply not allowing anything to be placed on it. It can also be covered with a metal grate when family members are using the fireplace if you don’t want them to touch it with their feet or legs directly.

Do Not Use Your Fireplace As A Storage Area

Fireplaces should only be used for their intended purpose – heating your home. Many people use mantle space for decoration and storage, covering all of the available wall space in their fireplace with pictures or shelves that have knickknacks and other personal items on them. This is a dangerous practice since these items can easily catch fire if they are too close to the flames.

Don’t Use Your Fireplace as a Stove

Some people like to use their fireplace as an alternative cooking source. It would be best if you never did this because of the safety risk it entails. If you have trouble with your stove or oven not working, make sure you contact an appliance repair service instead of using your fireplace. The last thing you want is for your house to catch fire while food is cooking on your fireplace.

Make Sure Your Kids Know the Rules About the Fireplace

Make Sure Your Kids Know the Rules About the Fireplace

Even if you childproof your fireplace with locks or other safety measures, your kids must know not to mess with the unit when no one else is in the house. A three-year-old can’t override a lock you have installed, but what they can do is tip over a pot of water on the flue or push it open and let heat escape from your home while everyone else is fast asleep. Make sure your kids know not to mess with the fireplace while no other adults are around.

Keep Young Kids Away From Fireplace Area

Kids are curious creatures by nature. If they know that there is a fireplace in your home, they may try to explore it independently- especially if you have knickknacks on the mantle. You should ensure that any kids under the age of five have no access to the hearth area regardless of what you do with it. This will stop them from accidentally getting burned should they touch something too hot for them to handle.

Don’t Let Pets Get Burned

This is another reason why young children should not be near the hearth area of a fireplace. If you have pets like cats and dogs, make sure they don’t try climbing up on the mantel and getting too close to the fire. While it may not burn them, they can get burned from the heat. It’s also a good idea to keep your pets away from ashes that you have taken out of the fireplace for safety reasons as well.

If You Have a Fire Going, Keep Several Water Jugs Nearby

If there is a fire going in the hearth and you have been using ashes from it to keep the flames going, make sure you keep a few water jugs near in case of an emergency. It is prevalent for a fire to become too big and need immediate attention before it spreads across a room or engulfs your entire house. Don’t be afraid to dump water on your fireplace if this happens.

Explain to Your Children the Dangers of a Fireplace

Just because you have a childproof fireplace, it doesn’t mean that you should assume your children know all of the risks associated with fireplaces. Fireplaces operate on the same principles as any other kind of fire – they use oxygen to burn anything they can get their hands on. If they see your wood-burning brightly in the hearth, they may think that it is okay to burn things of their own. If you have a child under the age of two, don’t let him play anywhere near your fireplace, no matter what kind of precautions you’ve taken to make it safe.

Keep an Eye on Your Child When You Have a Fire Going

Keep an Eye on Your Child When You Have a Fire Going

You must keep an eye on your child when you have a fire going in the fireplace. This is not just to protect him from burning his hands or getting them into something that can be dangerous, but also because there may be times where he will try and climb up on the mantel while everyone else is distracted. Teach him to stay away from the fire and not to touch it. This will help you ensure that he doesn’t get burned.

FAQs

Q. How do I childproof my fireplace if it is electric?

A. several options for you will help to ensure that your electric fireplace is safe for children. You can purchase keyed locks for the doors, use a floor mat in front of them so they don’t get burned if they fall against it when someone else is home, or you can install a childproof gate in front of it. All of these options will help to ensure that your fireplace is safe for kids.

Q. How do I childproof my gas fireplace?

A. If your gas fireplace has automatic ignition, there are several things you can do to keep kids from playing with it. You can buy a safety cover for the on/off switch, use a safety grill to prevent them from inserting anything into it, or you can even install some childproof lock on the side. If your ventless gas fireplace or regular gas fireplace has an adjustable flame, make sure that you teach kids not to mess with it because they may accidentally put it down low enough that they can’t see the pilot light.

Q. What do I need for my fireplace to be childproof?

A. One of the most important things you’ll need is a lock on the door, so kids don’t get in when you’re not around. If your fireplace is electric, you’ll need to have a safety or key-coded device placed on the electrical outlet it’s plugged into, as well as install covers over all of the other outlets in the room to prevent them from inserting foreign objects inside. You can also use unique covers for your pilot, adjustable flame, and on/off switches to make them harder for kids to reach. Remember, there are a bunch of useful fireplace accessories you can buy to keep it working effectively.

Conclusion

Fireplaces are among the most commonly used household items in America, yet they pose significant risks to children. On average more than 7000 children under five years old are treated in hospital annually due to injuries sustained from fireplaces and chimneys. A fireplace can be one of the most dangerous household items for a child if precautions aren’t taken. This article aims to educate on how to childproof a fireplace.

Having a childproof fireplace that can keep your home safe from fire is an ideal situation, but it’s essential to take precautions just in case. If you’re going to be away from the house for long periods and will not be able to ensure that your fireplace is completely out, you may want to consider getting another type of heating source. However, if you can watch your kids when the fireplace is burning, it can be an excellent option for you.

Eugene Duke Pic

Hi, my name’s Eugene Duke and I love sitting by my fireplace reading a book and sipping on an adult beverage. Do you have a fireplace in your house? I’ll help you figure out the best type and style of fireplace for your home.

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