Everyone loves the relaxing sight of a fireplace, especially in winter. If you have little ones around or are expecting them in the near future, you need to think about the dangers of your fireplace and how to protect your children from it. I’m not saying close up that fireplace and chimney for good because they’re dangerous, but I am going to talk about what you can do to keep the little ones safe around your fireplace. Let’s get to it.
Keep Children in Sight
The number one rule is to always supervise children when they’re around the fireplace. Never turn your back, even for a minute; this could quickly lead to a dangerous situation. Children love to play without a concern, and many will run toward a fireplace and hearth. Some have been injured as they fall toward the fireplace or hearth while playing and having fun. Children must always be watched when around the fireplace, especially when a fire is burning.
Communication is Key
The next best thing you can do is start to communicate to the child at an early age about the dangers of the fireplace. Even if you don’t think they are quite old enough to understand, getting into the habit of teaching them will be beneficial in the long run. Anytime they ever become curious always tell them no and then explain why they should not go near the fireplace.
Think about how hot the glass door can get when the fire is going. Whether you have glass doors, mesh, or grate covers they all need an extra barrier around them as well when little ones are in the home. If the child decides to touch the glass it can cause second and third degree burns pretty quickly. Try putting up an extra barrier just for added protection for the little ones.
Any tools that are used for the fireplace can cause serious injuries. Make sure to put all tools out of reach of the little ones or you can use a gate around the hearth to protect them from them altogether. As long as the children can’t get to them, they will be safe.
These may seem like obvious protection measures to protect your children from the fireplace, but you can never be too safe or have enough information. Always be extra careful when it comes to children, we are their only protection.
Don’t forget to have your chimney inspected and cleaned before cold winter weather sets in. We had a really bad winter last year, and early predictions indicate a very cold and snowy winter again this year. Make sure your home is ready in advance. Give me a call to schedule your chimney inspection and cleaning, and we’ll discuss your options for fireplace safety as well if you wish.
What are your ideas concerning fireplace safety with children? What measures do you take when protecting your children from harm around the fireplace? I’d love to hear solutions from other Philadelphia homeowners.