Fireplace Safety for Children and Pets

Keep your pets and children safe from the fireplace this Fall and Winter

Keep your pets and children safe from the fireplace this Fall and Winter

Now that fall is in full swing, many homeowners are starting to think about heating their homes during the upcoming cold weather. For those using fireplaces this season, it is time to have the chimneys cleaned and inspected and to stock up on firewood. However, families with children and pets have special concerns around this time of year when burning fires in their fireplaces and wood stoves. Accidents can happen and plenty of families have horror stories from mishaps involving the fireplace or hearth. To avoid creating a story of your own, you can take a few simple measures and keep your beloved children and pets safe this fall and winter.

Many accidents involving the fireplace happen in conjunction with the sharp, hard edges of the brick or stone hearth. These pointy, rough corners are bumps and bruises just waiting to happen. To prevent ouchies and permanent scars from accidental falls, you can purchase and install a product known as hearth padding. This fire-resistant foam lines the sharp edges of the hearth, so in the case of a stumble around the fireplace, your child is less likely to suffer any serious injuries. While not the most attractive feature of the fireplace, the price is well worth ensuring your child’s safety.

Other incidents that affect both children and pets often involve accidental burns. To remedy these risks, you have a few different options. One measure you can take is installing glass doors in front of your fireplace. This addition keeps curious fingers, paws and noses from making direct contact with the dangerous flames. Although the glass does heat up to high temperatures itself, which can also cause minor burns, it protects clothing and fur from catching on fire. It also discourages children from tossing inappropriate items into the fire, such as toys, electronics, or flammable materials.

To avoid the minor burns associated with the hot glass doors, you can also have a grate installed in front of the fireplace. Some homeowners worry the grates might make the fireplace look tacky, but there are actually a wide variety of stylish options available to make the grate a sophisticated addition to the space.

Finally, the most effective way to keep your children and pets safe is to keep a watchful, loving eye on them while burning a fire. Keeping tabs on where your kids, dogs and cats are can greatly reduce the risk of accidental burns or even misplaced fires.

If you need to child- and pet-proof your fireplace, contact an expert to discuss your options. The safety of your family depends on it. If you live near Hinckley or Aurora, Illinois, get in touch with Pozzi Chimney Sweep for a professional consultation.