Children are very inquisitive. This entire world is new to them, and they strive to explore everything they can get their tiny hands on. Unfortunately this may mean the red hot log or the pretty glowing ember in the fireplace. Small children are like little sponges; they’re always absorbing knowledge and learning to apply it to daily life. They do, however, like experimenting with things that they probably shouldn’t touch. Let’s talk about fireplace safety and your toddler.

  • Fireproof Baby Gate – Metal baby gates are a wonderful idea to protect your toddler from the dangers of a fireplace. Make sure that your toddler can’t push the gate over or unlock the built-in door if there is one.
  • Fireplace Screen – A fireplace screen keeps hot embers from escaping the fireplace and small fingers from testing the embers from where they are. Always use a fireplace screen that securely attaches to the fireplace itself for added security.
  • Fireplace Doors – Fireplace doors are lovely, but they should never be a singular line of defense against burns. They will keep the fire contained, but the glass doors themselves get very hot and will cause serious injury if your toddler touches them.
  • Tall Hearths – A tall hearth can be dangerous for toddlers because they could fall into it as they’re learning to walk or playing with toys. Sharp edges can cut tender skin and leave nasty bruises. Use padded hearth cushions or spongy plastic interlocking floor mats to cover the hearth if possible.
  • Short Hearths – Hearth guards are usually sufficient for smaller hearths.

Use every possible opportunity to teach your child fire safety. It is a skill they will need for the rest of their lives, so start young. Your toddler likely understands what hot is and that it can hurt. As he or she grows, their life experiences will be their guide. We all base our understanding of the world around us on things we learned as children. Begin your toddler’s fire safety education as early as possible so they will continue to grow that knowledge throughout the years.

Remember: avoid using any type of standalone fence, door, or screen. Toddlers are notorious for holding onto things to walk or grabbing something quickly to catch their balance. One wrong grab toward a freestanding fireplace screen, and your not-quite-nimble toddler could end up with serious burns.

Hire a chimney sweep to make sure your fireplace is in good working condition and for an annual chimney inspection at least once a year. Don’t trust just any chimney sweep with your chimney services. Lou Curley’s Chimney Service is located in Drexel Hill and we provide all types of chimney services throughout the Main Line. Call us at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.