A fireplace is a perfect way to create a cozy atmosphere, warm up in the winter, and relax next to after a long day. Though a fireplace has many benefits, it also comes with a handful of risks and safety hazards, especially in a house with children. Keep reading to learn about ways you can prevent fireplace-related injuries.
Safety Screens, Gates, and Locks:
Fireplaces can be interesting to young children whether it’s currently burning or not. The bright fire, the embers, and the firewood are all enticing to small kids and can cause them severe burns and other injuries if their curiosity gets the best of them. This being said, various products on the market can ensure your child’s safety around the fireplace. Investing in a safety screen, gate, or a lock can give you peace of mind when a fire burns. Before installing any of these, look up the recommendations of setting them up, and keep in mind that having these extra security devices doesn’t mean your child is free from all potential dangers.
Yearly Fireplace Inspection
Your fireplace should be inspected by a professional at least once a year. It’s essential to have your chimney cleaned out to remove any blockages; this helps prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and a variety of other toxins that can arise when fumes from the fireplace cannot be adequately released.
Carbon Monoxide Detector
A carbon monoxide detector should be placed in any home regardless of a fireplace or not. Carbon monoxide can form from heaters, washing machines, and other appliances. This being said, carbon monoxide is commonly formed from fireplaces. Any time there is a blockage in the chimney that prevents fumes from exiting it, your home is at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide has no smell and isn’t visible, so a detector is the only way to know if it’s present in your home.
Hearth Safety Bumper
The hearth around a fireplace is typically raised and made of stone or hard concrete. This poses a hazard to kids and adults alike. One slight fall can lead to anything from a head injury to a stubbed toe. To prevent these injuries, you can purchase a hearth safety bumper to put along the sharp edges of the hearth. While a bumper might not take away all the risks, it can certainly help break a fall and lessen the severity of an injury.