How to Effectively Childproof Your Fireplace

Following simple fire safety advice and childproofing your fireplace will go a long way in protecting your little ones and ensuring the safety of your family. Fire is the leading cause of fatalities in children between 0-4 years, but most of these are easily preventable if precaution is taken. There’s no need to sacrifice having or using your feature fireplace as they can be a perfectly safe way to add value and style to your home as well as being a cosy source of warmth in the winter months.

Perfectly Fitted Fireguards

Fireguards are the ultimate way to keep curious children away from dangerous flames and are inexpensive to purchase. The downfall here is that people don’t always attach these to the wall and leave them freestanding. This massively reduces their effectiveness as little ones can still easily fall into these and won’t be protected from the fire. Make sure you purchase a fireguard that can be attached to the walls either side of your fireplace to give all round coverage and prevent them from toppling over. Be aware that metal guards can get hot so it’s important to still teach children not to get too close.

The Hearth Of A Fireplace

A fireplace hearth is its floor that often extends into the room and will be made from brick, flagstone or cement. If these are flush with the floor they don’t pose as big of a problem, but many are raised and have sharp edges. A fireguard will usually enclose these at the same time as the fire, but guards can be removed during warmer months when the fire isn’t being used. Fortunately, you can buy hearth edging, often made from a thick foam. This will go over the edges of your hearth and eliminates the possibility of accidents Protect your children with a fire guardcaused by the pointy edges without having to compromise too much on appearance.

The Silent Killer

Carbon monoxide is often associated with gas boilers but can be given off by any fossil fuel when burnt, including wood and coal that is used in fireplaces. Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur when chimneys aren’t swept regularly, which can lead to blockages and affects ventilation, meaning carbon monoxide can’t be safely vented out of the home. The Carbon Monoxide - Be Alarmed! campaign found that 26% of households with a chimney said they had never had it swept. While carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious health issue for anyone, children are at higher risk as they breathe faster than adults and those under 4 years old are particularly at risk. Regularly have your chimney swept and install a carbon monoxide alarm to alert you of dangerous levels in your home.

Injuries and fatalities caused by fires and fireplaces are often preventable when measures are put in place. Using and correctly fitting a fireguard, covering sharp edges and being aware of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning can help reduce accidents. It’s important to never leave your child unattended in a room with a lit fireplace. It’s natural for every parent to worry about their child, but taking precautions means you get to enjoy the warmth and aesthetics of a fireplace.

 

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