Fireplace Safety Tips for Kids from Our Apex Chimney Inspection Company

October 22, 2019

Now that the weather is becoming chilly, more and more families are opening up their chimneys for the season—which also means a higher risk for fire-related accidents. Below are some simple tips to keep your children safe around your fireplace.

Install Heat-Resistant Glass Doors

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you may have glass doors covering your fireplace, which are left open when the fire is burning and closed after the fire has died down. One common mistake we have seen parents make is closing the glass doors while the fire is still dying, assuming that the glass is too cool to pose a threat. Unfortunately, burning coals are still quite hot and can still heat up the glass to the point that it burns little fingers. To prevent this from happening, consider installing heat-resistant glass over your fireplace. You may also consider installing a latch or lock to prevent your child from opening the doors.

Utilize a Hearth Gate or Fireplace Screen

A fireplace screen is placed in front of the firebox to prevent sparks from jumping out (and to prevent small children from reaching into the fire.) A hearth gate is similar, except it genuinely has the appearance of a gate, such as those that enclose dog parks and swimming pools. When choosing a gate or screen, be sure to select one that surrounds the hearth on all sides, and which cannot be toppled if pulled on or leaned on. Hearth gates are preferable in this respect, as they can be mounted into the walls on either side of the fireplace.

Cushion Your Hearth With Padding

Another, often overlooked danger of fireplaces when it comes to children is the hearth itself. It’s easy for unsteady (or roughhousing) children to trip and harm themselves on the brick or stone. To prevent this, you can purchase hearth padding, which is generally inexpensive and can blend right in with your décor. And, it almost goes without saying, never leave young children alone in a room when a fire is going.

Some Final Basic Fire Safety Tips

The last few tips we have to share are simple, well-known, and easy to follow; but they are also some of the most overlooked. Firstly, keep all matches and fireplace tools in a secure, locked area. Secondly, talk to your children about the risks associated with fire. Establish “fireplace rules” and enforce them whenever they are violated. And lastly, make sure older children understand where to access your fire extinguisher; what to do if they sustain a burn; and what to do in the event of a house fire.

Protect Your Family with an Apex Chimney Inspection

Fireplace safety is only half the battle. In order to truly protect your kids and family, you should also schedule a chimney inspection and cleaning at least once a year. Having a clean chimney significantly decreases your risk of a devastating house fire, and keeps family members’ lungs free of harmful creosote smoke. To schedule a free chimney inspection estimate, click here.