Creating a Child Safe Fireplace
Posted on: 2nd November 2018
The fireplace may be the heart of the home – a place we gather in the late afternoons and straight through to the evenings – but, for our little ones, it’s an alluring display of flickering lights. Unfortunately, children are unaware of the dangers a fireplace presents and therefore will not hesitate to explore further until the heat or flames cause serious harm. To ensure your family are safe and protected from your fireplace, child safety measures are a must. This month, Rotherham Fireplace Centre are here to offer you security tips to keep your children safe and your fire in good use this winter.
Child safety gates
The most obvious and easiest solution to keep your children safe and away from the fireplace is to install a baby gate or safety screen. By restricting their access to it, they will be less fascinated and thus drawn to other things – such as their toys and colouring books.
Avoid freestanding fireplace screens, these are not good enough safety measures. If a child were to lean on the screen or push it, they could fall into the fireplace. A child safety gate must be implemented appropriately and fixed into position, ideally with screws and into the walls – no risks should be taken when baby proofing your home.
Another method that will keep your child safe is to put them in a playpen, this will keep them contained and away from your fire. This is quite a useful method should you be in the room with them but occupied with a daily task, such as ironing. As we parents are aware, we must always keep an eye on our child and so – to reduce the risks of accidents – always put safety measures into action before dividing your attention.
Baby proofing your hearth
The floor of the fireplace is the brick or stone ledge that prevents embers from springing out of your fireplace and onto a flammable object. Regardless of whether your hearth is flush to the floor or stepped/raised, it can be hazardous to children due to sharp edges. Just like table edges, toilet seats and stairs, all of these areas need to be baby proofed – your hearth is no exception.
When proofing your hearth, either extend your baby gate to include the hearth or place a soft, non-flammable mat on a flat hearth and fix corner guards to your stepped hearth. Corner guards or ‘pool noodles’ are made from a dense foam material, they are cheap and are used to prevent foreseeable injuries. ‘Roving cove wrap’ is another similar product used to cover all edges and corners around your home and this comes in a large wheel – so you can baby proof everywhere!
Quirker, stylish solutions
If your fireplace is merely there for character and stylistic purposes and you do not use your fire for its functionality, there are many quirky ways to dress it up to make it child friendly:
- Bench seats are popular for homes with stepped hearths, these can be nicely decorated with an interlocking padded material that can be used as a seating area for your child.
- Chalkboard panels cover the fire and make it a place that’s fun and interactive. Your child can use this to practice letters and numbers or use it to draw.
- Toy storage is a great way to decorate your fireplace once it’s been boarded up.
- Book storage is an alternative way to use your fire space to its utmost potential.
Even if you haven’t used your fire in years – always remember to cover the actual fireplace to keep them well away from harm.
When baby-proofing make sure your fireplace is well ventilated because a blockage can cause a serious carbon monoxide leak – which can prove to be fatal. You can tackle this simply with a compact carbon monoxide detector, an ideal solution to ensuring everyone’s wellbeing. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, so prevent this with the right measures and be safe in your own home.
Although the fireplace is a wonderful, homely feature, measures must be put into place if you have young children. Covering your fireplace with a gate may take away from its aesthetics but it’s an extremely small price to pay. Embrace a fun and decorative way to make your fireplace child safe.
For professional advice, quality products and flawless installations, contact Rotherham Fireplace Centre today. We supply an extensive range of gas fires, electric fires, stoves and luxury fireplace surrounds. If you’re located in Barnsley, Sheffield, Doncaster or near these areas, give us a call and let’s see what we can do for you.