The Ultimate Guide On How to Baby Proof Fireplace
Do you want to baby-proof fireplace? It’s important to make areas in your home like the kitchen, bathroom, and living room as safe as possible for your baby or child. The most obvious danger is the fire itself including the flames, sparks, and smoke. However, the process of making the area baby-proof is more complicated than it might seem. That’s because there are other dangers like the fireplace’s structure and tools, which can also make it dangerous when your child is old enough to crawl or run around the area. As always it’s important to make sure there’s nothing overlooked when child-proofing the fireplace.
Fuel-fired appliances are quite popular and are used by about one-third of US homes, for example. If you have a fireplace there are several issues to consider when baby-proofing them. They include ones like hearth, screen/door, and carbon monoxide. These are all key issues that could cause possible health issues for your little one. It’s all about knowing the biggest dangers and how to minimize them so there’s little chance your little one will experience any injuries around the area. It all starts with picking the right structures and avoiding others like free-standing screens.
What Are Fireplace Dangers for Babies/Kids?
There’s no question that a cozy fireplace can provide one of the best places in a home during cold winter days/nights. It’s a place where household members can watch TV, read books, and play games. It can be one of the warmest areas during the winter months.
However, there are also various possible dangers for babies/children. Some of them are also dangerous for adults although generally less so. Some of the main dangers of fireplaces are quite obvious. There are fires and sparks themselves, which everyone should avoid at all costs.
However, some possible dangers might be more surprising. For example, free-standing screens and glass doors could be issues if you have babies/kids in your home. For example, you should avoid using free-standing screens since they could cause a health issue.
There are other issues to consider including the hearth. This is a little more complex due to the various factors. However, it’s certainly an issue to take up including the form, materials, and even color. These are all key factors that can affect the fireplace’s overall health.
Yet another issue is the possible carbon monoxide that the fireplace might emit. This isn’t a healthy substance for anyone to breathe in. However, it’s even more dangerous for babies/children than adults due to their developing lungs and immune system. So it’s another issue to consider.
An X-factor to consider is possible accidents. For example, a baby or child might be playing near the fireplace. It’s important to consider possible accidents that could happen even if they’re not curious about the fire and smoke from the structure.
Finally, child-proofing the fireplace should be part of the overall goal of baby/child-proofing the home. There are other key items including the cabinets/drawers. Various other areas/items can help keep your little one safe and sound.
How to Baby Proof Fireplaces
Make sure they’re cleaned regularly. When coal/wood is burned it creates carbon monoxide, which can result in carbon monoxide poisoning at high levels. That can cause various unwanted side-effects like headaches, vomiting, and fainting. Babies/children are more vulnerable since their lungs aren’t fully developed. They also have weaker immune systems.
The key is to clean vents/exhausts regularly. This can help to greatly reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If your fireplace isn’t vented then make sure to keep the window slightly open to help prevent CO poisoning due to high levels.
You can even install a carbon monoxide alarm in the room where the fireplace is located. This makes it easier to track CO levels and detect when they’re dangerously high.
If you have a glass fireplace door then it’s important to take steps to baby-proof them. There are some major safety issues. One is the doors can get very hot. They can also stay hot after the fire is turned off. One of the best options is a baby-proof fence around the fireplace so your tot can’t get to the area.
Another possible issue is “bifold” fireplace doors that can be a pinching hazard. This can be an issue in the warm months when you’re not even using the fireplace. An easy fix is door locks for the fireplace. This is a simple yet effective method that you can put at the top/bottom of fireplace door handles. The metal bars are bolted together to prevent someone from opening the doors.
This is one of the best units to add to the fireplace for making it baby-proof. While you should avoid free-standing screens, gates are sturdier so a better option. Make sure to go with a fire-proof one to make sure it’s safe for anyone and everyone around the fireplace. It’s also critical to make sure the unit is super-sturdy and is affixed to something to secure it.
Soft Hearth Mat
This is the easiest option if you have a flat hearth. The mat makes the area soft so even if your baby falls in the area they’ll have a soft landing. These mats are quite affordable so you won’t have to spend big bucks to secure one. As a warning make sure not to use the mat when you’re using the fireplace since it could also become a fire hazard.
Carbon Monoxide Detector
As noted it’s important to track the CO levels in a room where their fireplace is located. A carbon monoxide detector is a good option for checking the levels in your living room, rec room, and so on. The cost is worthwhile to minimize the risk of CO poisoning.
These are better than pads if you have a stepped hearth. You get a roll with soft/dense foam. You can apply it to any edges, which can include a stepped hearth. Simply roll it out along the hearth’s length, cut it, then stick it. The corner pieces are installed on the corners. That’s it!
This is the ledge/flat area that extends past the fireplace. It’s designed for keeping embers from popping out and causing something to catch fire. Most hearths are made of brick or stone. The two main styles are flat and one raised step level with a raised fireplace.
Both types of hearths can be dangerous to babies/kids in situations like tripping/falling. The best option is a secured fireplace fence. This will prevent your little one from playing at the hearth edge since they can’t get to it. These items can be relatively cheap, yet the safety value is priceless when you baby-proof fireplace.