Fire safety should be a top priority in every home, especially if there is a fireplace. Children need to be taught about the dangers of fire and what they should and should not do when they are near a fire. If there are pets in the house, they need to be trained to stay away from the fire as well.
Here are some tips that we recommend, so homeowners can keep their children and pets as safe as possible near the fireplace:
- Stay in the room – Children and pets should never be alone in the room when there is a fire in the fireplace. They are always curious and accidents can happen within seconds.
- Install a fireplace door or screen – Installing a fireplace door or screen is a great way to keep little hands and paws away from the burning flames. The door or screen will also prevent any embers from popping out onto a person, animal or the floor of the room. Just remember that the door or screen will get very hot when a fire is burning. Children and pets should not touch these at any time.
- Baby gates – Baby gates are not just for stairs anymore. A gate can be installed around the fireplace and hearth, so that children and pets stay farther away from the fireplace.
- Keep toys away from the fireplace – Toys and other items should be kept at least 3 feet away from the fireplace at all times, even when the fireplace is not in use. By getting in the habit of never leaving anything near the fireplace, there will not be a time when something ventures closer when there is a fire burning.
- Remove fireplace tools – The fireplace tools are necessary when a fire is lit, but they should not be stored near the fireplace permanently. The shovels and pokers will look like fun toys to any child and they will not be able to resist trying them out. To prevent an accident from happening, store these items where the children cannot get to them and bring them out when needed.
- Hearth padding – Installing padding on the hearth is an extra measure that can be taken in case someone does fall in that area. The padding will cover all of the sharp edges and corners of the hearth and protect children and pets from getting deep gashes from a fall.
- Clean and inspect the chimney – We always recommend that homeowners have their chimney cleaned and inspected every year. Creosote can build up quite quickly in a chimney and this is what causes most chimney fires.
It is also a good idea to have safety meetings once a month, so that families can review the rules together. By following these tips, many accidents can be prevented and children and pets will be safer when they are near the fireplace. Lou Curley’s Chimney Service is located in Drexel Hill and provides all types of chimney services to homeowners and commercial property owners in the surrounding areas and along the Main Line. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 if you’re interested in scheduling an appointment for a consultation, a chimney inspection, or chimney cleaning.