5 Steps to Baby-Proof Your Fireplace

Five simple steps to baby-proof your gas or electric fireplace

We all know how dangerous a fireplace can be to young children, especially since toddlers are naturally attracted to shiny things. Luckily, there are preventative measures you can take to protect your young ones. 

Below are five simple steps for making sure your fireplace is baby and toddler-proofed.

  1. Prevent contact with flames or hot surfaces by installing a permanent or movable gate or barrier. This will eliminate contact with the fireplace as well as potential tripping hazards. Avoid freestanding fireplace screens that a child can easily pull down.
  2. In the case of enclosed gas/electric fireplaces (or wood-burning stoves), take the additional step of installing childproof locks on the doors to prevent contact with sparks or hot ash. Remember, the interior of a stove is still hot and dangerous long after the flames have died down.
  3. Eliminate contact with fireplace starters and remote controls, by keeping both out of sight so that it is out mind at all times. 
  4. Protect your little ones from the sharp corners of a fireplace by installing foam tiles around and on top of the hearth and other edges, to soften them. 
  5. Finally, make sure your gas or electric fireplace is regularly maintained by a licensed technician to ensure that no carbon monoxide is leaking into your home. Also, have at least one working carbon monoxide detector in your home for this same reason. 

Every year, hundreds of children are rushed to emergency for fireplace-related injuries. By taking these five simple steps, you can make sure your child is safe.

To learn more and locate a qualified contractor to service your gas or electric fireplace, go to the Heating, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) Contractor Locator page, or call 1-877-467-HRAI (4724).  The HRAI Contractor Locator has the capability to look up HRAI member contractors that specifically service fireplaces.  All HRAI member contractors have been pre-screened and have the required trade licences, technical certifications and insurance coverage to work on your system.

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