Fireplace Hazards For Children and How To Mitigate Them
When we become parents, we suddenly become acutely aware of the everyday hazards present in our homes. Then, we find out there is a striking difference between baby-proof, toddler-proof, and childproof. However, one hazard that is static across the ages is the family fireplace.
Fireplaces are a delightful place to warm yourself and provides comforting warmth, a relaxing glow, and a peaceful crackling, which is why in a world of central heating, many homes still have fireplaces in the family room. Some families who have abandoned the fire function and even closed off the chimney still value the fireplace as a staple for their home’s decor and a centerpiece for whatever room it is home in. We believe that every home in America should have a fireplace to gather around, complete with a sturdy hearth and jutting mantle to hang stockings from and display framed family photos on. However, we also know the importance of fireplace safety.
At Jamboo Creations, we are a family company, founded by parents, for parents. We build custom padded hearth covers that are as protective as they are beautiful. Follow along in today’s post as we help identify some fireplace hazards for children of all ages, and how you can mitigate them to keep your children safe.
S’more heat, please.
One of the most obvious risks a fireplace presents is the actual flame of the fire itself. When it comes to fire safety, the “rules” are the same for every age group and requires some responsible fireplace maintenance. To reduce the risk of fire spreading to places it shouldn’t, there are some built-in safety features in fireplaces — vents and a chimney to allow smoke to escape, mesh-metal doors to keep wood and sparks in the firepit, and bare stone to prevent spreading fire. To reduce the chances of the fire from getting out of its pit, try these maintenance tips.
- Keep your pit clean — scoop out ashes, and have your chimney swept.
- Regularly inspect the fireplace — before the first use of the year and at least annually, but more is better!
- Don’t burn anything except raw, untreated wood (or the natural gas of a gas fireplace).
- Never leave the fire unattended.
- Never reach into the fireplace.
- Always treat the fireplace as though it is lit.
- Keep the mesh door closed.
Carbon monoxide is another concern for fireplace owners. It is a tasteless and odorless To mitigate the risk of toxic poison dispersing throughout your home, conduct regular fireplace inspections, ensuring adequate ventilation. Additionally, you can place a carbon monoxide detector at outlet level near the fireplace to alert you of escaping gas.
Not a jungle-gym.
Kids of all ages will turn anything into a jungle gym. A fireplace is full of all sorts of dangers for kids, fire aside! Because a fireplace is responsible for safely housing fire, the construction and maintenance of the fireplace has to be able to withstand the fire and is inherently dangerous for children.
Ashes can appear sand-like and fun to play with. For the smaller tots, who put everything in their mouths, ashes can find their ways onto curious tongues. Ashes can be incredibly toxic to people of any age, especially when breathed or eaten. To prevent this, keep the metal door closed and locked and clean the ashes out regularly. For older children, you can teach them about the dangers.
The rocky hearth of a fireplace is made of cement, bricks, or rocks. These materials are dangerous to any bone that strikes it. Because fireplace hearths often jut out of the wall, this presents an exciting obstacle that tends to attract children and piques their climbing instincts. It is important to teach your children that the fireplace is not a jungle gym and should not be climbed on. To provide accidental injury, you can use a padded hearth cover to soften the surface and provide edge protection.
At Jamboo Creations, our HearthSoft® padded hearth covers are custom-built to fit your hearth perfectly, unlike other commercially made hearth bumpers. Browse your options online today and let us get your project started today!