How to Baby Proof Your Fireplace
It takes quite a bit of thought and effort to keep babies and toddlers safe in a household. Knowing how to baby-proof your fireplace is an excellent place to start. We’ve consulted a baby-proofing pro to be sure all bases are covered. It’s an important topic because more than 1/3 of accidental injuries to children occur at home, according to KidsHealth.org. So, you may enjoy greater peace of mind with the following tips to baby-proof your fireplace.
A Safety Gate
A freestanding gate in front of the fireplace won’t do with toddlers or babies. A fireplace safety gate that has an opening to access the fire is an ideal solution for baby-proofing the fireplace. You can put the fireplace tools behind the gate, too. This is also a great way to protect children from getting burned by the glass on gas fireplaces. Statistics show that 200+ children suffer third-degree burns from hot fireplace surfaces each year.
The different kinds of hearths create different challenges. A hearth with a bench has edges that could cause a little one injury. One solution is a sort of peel-and-stick bumper pad for hearths. Padded playmats work nicely, though the aesthetics may be lacking. If you have an energetic little one, a brick hearth may seem too dangerous. With some carpentry skills, it’s possible to build a removable wooden bench around the hearth. You would need to move it when you use the fireplace.
Schedule Chimney Cleaning
Several aspects of chimneys are health risks for children. Creosote is one of them. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, creosote is deposited in the chimney liner with each fire. Annual cleaning of the chimney flue is recommended because creosote is toxic.
Creosote can obstruct the chimney if chimney cleaning is neglected. This leads to another danger. When a chimney is blocked, the result can be that carbon monoxide (CO) is blown back into your home with the other toxic fumes. It’s known as the Silent Killer because you can’t taste, see, or smell carbon monoxide. CO is also symptomless.
Note: Be sure to install a carbon monoxide detector if you have a fireplace.
Teach your Child
Don’t allow your child to play near the fireplace. Teach them about fire safety as they get a little older. They should know such things as not to play with matches, not to throw something into a fire, and not to touch hot surfaces.
Install Glass Doors
For the off-season, glass doors could help keep a curious child from playing in the fireplace. When a fireplace is in use, however, glass doors are dangerously hot. A safety gate, rather than glass doors, should be relied on to keep children away from the fire.
The Chimney Pros in Richmond VA Clean Chimneys
Contact the trusted CSIA-certified chimney sweeps at Chimney Saver Solutions in Richmond VA if you want more input on how to babyproof your fireplace. Our technicians clean chimneys and perform many other services, such as masonry rebuilds, chimney inspections, fixing chimney leaks, flashing repair, chimney crown rebuilds, and more. Call us at 804-440-5000 or you can fill out our online form today.