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Elizabeth BarlettaEditor-in-Chief of Top Mom
If you map out all the places in your home that you must babyproof, the fireplace definitely comes high up in the list. Needless to say, fireplace childproofing automatically tops the list of your concerns. Even if you have a closed fireplace, the flickering of fire can draw a curious toddler towards it, and the intense heat can be immensely hazardous to them.
So we have made comprehensive guidelines as to how to baby proof your fireplace.
How can you baby proof a fireplace?
We have broken every aspect of fireplace safety and made a list of the following tips;
Putting up a fire gate at the fireplace
This is like how to baby proof fireplace 101. We know what you are thinking, a fire gate totally detracts from the aesthetic of a fireplace. But here’s the thing: if you want both a toddler and fireplace at your place, you have got to have a fire gate. Make sure it is attached to the walls so that it does not topple over randomly on your child and has an opening so that you can access the fire. A fire gate will not only prevent your toddler from going near it but will also prevent them from getting glass burns from touching hot surfaces near the fireplace which is a very common phenomenon. Because remember, at the end of the day, the best baby gate is the one that they can’t open.
Baby proofing the hearth
Baby proofing fireplaces can be tricky. Many people do not think of the fireplace hearth is a hazard, but it very much is. A hearth may seem appealing to many babies as a stage to play on, and as hearths are usually rough rocky, the chances of your child slipping and scraping their knees are immense. To avoid that, you need to make sure there are no rough, sharp edges, and they are softened and covered. And if you have a flat hearth, just put a soft rug over it. If you are crafty enough, you can also make DIY couches or play areas with safe, soft materials and turn it into a fun home project! Just google how to baby proof fireplace DIY if you are running out on some ideas.
Baby proofing the fireplace doors
- For Use On Fireplace Doors With Horizontal Handles Only.
- Requires a Screwdriver to be Installed or Removed.
- This Fireplace Lock Must be Removed in Order to Use Fireplace.
- Fireplace door handles must be between 6" and 9" apart. One bar is 24.5" long, the other is 14.25" long.
- Hardware included.
While thinking about childproofing fireplace, it is important that you do not leave the fireplace doors out, as little ones often tend to get their skin pinched indoors. Ways to restrict access to the fireplace door can be installing a gate, which we already talked about, or you can always get a fireplace lock. And every time you are done using the fireplace, don’t forget to check when the door cools off and keep your baby way away from it until it does.
Some DIY options
- Interlocking Playmat: Best if you do not want to spend bucks on furnishing your heath.
- Bench Seat: If you are handy with carpentry, then you can turn your heath into a bench seat. If you are thinking about how to baby proof brick fireplace, you must go for this option because it looks very aesthetic.
You can never go wrong with these baby proof fireplace DIY options.
Some general tips to keep in mind
- Get on your toddlers level: Baby proofing fireplace is no child’s play. To know what’s best for your baby, you need to experience their perspective first. Get on your hands and knees and get to your fireplace like your baby would want to know, and then make sure they don’t get to that.
- Make a list of hidden dangers: Once you get on their level, you can easily gage the hidden dangers that your fireplace might entail, make a list of them, and eradicate them.
- Restrict access: This has been said many times before and needs to be said again. Make sure your baby cannot reach the fireplace under any circumstance. That is the foremost thing you need to check off the list.
- Identify remaining risks and address them: Once you are done with the major risks, identify the subtle risks, and work on them.
The carbon monoxide threat explained
Every year, at least 430 people die in the U.Sfrom accidental CO poisoning. So, needless to say, this toxic gas will do more harm to your child than any hit and/or bump. So you need to go the extra mile to prevent this hazard from affecting your home. Here’s how.
- Check the ventilation: Give your entire chute a check-up and make sure your chimney is not blocked.
- Clear your fireplace vents and any other blockages before use: A good chimney sweep is a way to go. You need to get away with anything that is ignitable near the fireplace.
- Get a carbon monoxide detector: These are affordable, low maintenance, and extremely essential. These work like fire alarms and will let you know immediately when something’s wrong.
- Perform regular maintenance checks: Keeping the fireplace tidy, replacing and testing your detector regularly are some of the maintenance work you need to do, along with making sure that your baby goes near the fireplace as little as possible.
We hope this was helpful enough for you, and the next thing you do after reading this article on how to baby proof fireplace, is going to install that fireplace door!
Because you never know when the next sequel of Baby’s Day Out is coming out! So you better go ensure child safety at home, right now!