Fireplaces, children, and pets do not always work well together. Remember, children and pets are very curious and they often do not think about the consequences before they do something. A lot of their curiosity is due to simply not understanding a situation or the consequences involved. If a fire is burning and children or pets are in the house, then an adult should be near the fireplace at all times. This can help prevent any accidents from happening. Here are a few other great suggestions for keeping your fireplace safe.

Gate or Screen

The best solution to keep children and pets away from the chimney and fireplace is to install a gate or screen in front of it. This will not only keep everyone away from the fire when it is burning, but also keep them from trying to climb into the chimney. Besides the gate or screen, you can also install glass doors, but be aware that they can become very hot when a fire is actually burning.

Hearth Padding

The hearth in front of the fireplace is another dangerous place to be, so some hearth padding can help in making sure that any falls do not result in open wounds. A good thing to do is teach your children not to play anywhere near the fireplace at any time. Of course, knowing this information will not always prevent an accident from happening, so it is always better to be prepared.

Tool Storage

The tools that you use for the fireplace can be very dangerous for both children and pets. Children can pick them up, thinking that they can use them as a toy and larger pets may knock them over. The tools should be in a locked area but if they are out and near the fireplace, then an adult should be supervising that area.


Everyone who has a fireplace needs to make sure that they have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in the house for everyone’s safety. Make sure that everyone in the house knows how to get out of the house in case of an emergency and where you should all meet.

Always Teach Safety First

Fires are great for cold days and nights or for when there is no other heat available, but it can be dangerous if it is not used in a safe way. Everyone who is going to be near a fire needs to be aware of the dangers and children are no exception. The sooner they learn, the safer they will be as they enjoy the warm fire.

There are several activity books and online games that help teach fire safety to children. You can find several of them with a quick Google search. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 if you would like to schedule an appointment for a consultation, chimney inspection, or chimney cleaning with one of our CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps.