Child-proofing your fireplace is more complicated than adding clips to your cupboards and gates to your stairs. The best way to keep your child safe around your fireplace this winter? Keep them away from it! However, you can only do that when you are with them to redirect and teach them.

Child-Proofing Your Fireplace Image - Seattle WA - Pristine SweepsThe Rules:

  1.  Your child should never be left alone with a fireplace, until is has been out of use for several hours. This is the most important rule for child safety during the burning months.
  2.  Your child should never be allowed to play near the fireplace, not even during summer months! Allowing your child to play on the hearth or near the fireplace when it’s out of use? Then he or she will not understand that it is an unsafe place to play.

Though these are important things to remember, there are definitely many other things you can do to child-proof your fireplace for the winter.

Fire-Proof Baby Gate

There are many great options on the market for baby-gates and play yards that attach to the walls on either side of your fireplace. These come in a variety of styles, colors, and materials. They can also be made to match your home decor and even your fireplace. These gates can be cumbersome when you carry wood to your hearth. So it’s a good idea to install one with an easy opening. However, if you have a gas fireplace, this is a great option and won’t be a hazard to the adults!

Fireplace Screens

Fireplace screens can match your hearth and fireplace and add another level of protection. They are designed to keep catch stray sparks from flying out and causing burns. However, a freestanding screen is not a great option for child-safety, because it can be pulled over onto the child, or the child can fall onto it, into the fire. You can still get a fireplace screen that works for your home. A certified chimney sweep can install a screen that attaches to the fireplace and is still beautiful and functional.

Custom Glass Doors

Glass doors can be a beautiful addition to any fireplace. They allow homeowners to control the heat from the fireplace and still allow the fire to burn. Glass doors heat quickly, though, and although they can protect your child from falling into the fireplace, the glass will still burn anyone who touches it.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

When your fireplace is installed or serviced your certified chimney sweep will most likely mention carbon monoxide detectors. This is an important preventative measure to protect all the people in your home. Carbon monoxide is often called The Silent Killer because the symptoms of poisoning are so subtle that there is substantial damage to the body before the exposure is realized. The best way to protect your family is to install carbon monoxide detectors and to replace the batteries as needed.

Another way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning as well as other breathing issues caused by particulate pollution from fires is to keep the chimney and fireplace clean. By scheduling regular chimney sweeps and inspections with a chimney expert you insure the fireplace is working at it’s most efficient, meaning that it is venting all the waste from the fire up the chimney and it doesn’t come into your home—and your child’s lungs.

At Pristine Sweeps the safety and comfort of our customers is our top priority. Contact Pristine Sweeps today to discuss child-proofing your fireplace. We have a technician that can help.