We always stress the importance of safety around the fireplace, especially when you have children, family members with mobility problems, or pets. We know there are several great ways to baby proof the fireplace, so we went to Pinterest to look for some ideas to share with you today. We were not disappointed! Take a look at these five great ways to make the fireplace and heart safer for your household.

Bench Seat

The bench seat works wonderfully if you have a tall hearth. This is a beautiful idea for people who host large family gatherings. Add padding and pillows to make it more comfortable. Here’s another very cute variation of a bench seat. Build the bench seat so that it is removable if you still use the fireplace on a regular basis. Never install combustible material such as cloth as a permanent fixture if you plan to use the fireplace. Use pet-safe materials if you also have pets in the home.

Stacked Wood Facade

This facade is a great way to keep children and pets out of the firebox. It’s very decorative and customizable. You can cut the logs the same size or vary them by one-half or one-fourth to stagger the protrusion for a more 3D appearance. Create it as an easily removable decorative board if you still plan to use the fireplace.

Child’s Entertainment Area

Customize a play area for your child. This basic idea could be modified to fit your child’s favorite activities. Use metal for magnet play, dry-erase board for easy drawing with markers, felt for Velcro letters and designs, or chalkboard paint for drawing with chalk. Your child could help decorate the hearth by decorating it with their favorite magnets or other objects, or to show off their artistic talents.

Foam Mats

Interlocking foam mats are an inexpensive way to customize the hearth. They’re usually in the $20 to $25 range for a set of 15 to 20 mats. You can use an exacto knife to cut them to fit the size of your hearth. They provide a spongy surface for children to play and protect them from serious injury if they fall into the hearth. We do not recommend foam mats to protect dogs or cats from the hearth or fireplace. Pets often like to scratch or bite fabric or foam, and these types of items make them sick or cause intestinal blockages.

Traditional Baby Gate

The traditional baby gate is still one of our favorite options for a child and pet safe fireplace and hearth. Choose one that is made of a noncombustible material like metal for the safest option. Most baby gates can be extended to increase the range available around the fireplace and hearth, allowing parents and caregivers the ability to create a quite large zone to keep children and animals away from potential danger.

Lou Curley’s Chimney Service is a locally owned and operated, family owned small business in Drexel Hill, PA. When we aren’t working we’re either relaxing and enjoying family time or continuing our education so we can better serve our clients. We are CSIA certified, FIRE Certified, NFI Certified, IAFCI Certified, C-DET Certified, and licensed contractors for work in the state of Pennsylvania. We provide chimney and dryer vent services throughout the surrounding area. Call us at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment with one of our certified chimney sweeps.