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5 Fireplace Safety Tips for Kids & Pets

Many children and animals are injured each year because they’re allowed to play too close to an open fireplace. Many of these instances could be prevented by following a few simple fireplace safety tips. Here are some ideas to keep your children and pets safe around a roaring fire.

Set boundaries

Fireplace fires don’t go after children and burn them. Rather, kids wander too close to the fireplace and get hurt. Accidents can be prevented by making sure your children understand what a fireplace is and that it is not an area around which they’re allowed to play.

Depending on the age of your child, a simple directive to stay five or 10 feet away from an operating fireplace may be sufficient. Younger children might respond best if you make a game of sorts out of it: draw an imaginary line and tell your kids that under no circumstances are they to cross it. Tell them the “fire dragon” will get them if they do, or something to that effect.

Boundaries include toys

Along with keeping kids (and pets, to the best of your ability) a safe distance from the fire, make sure to keep all toys the same distance away. If toys find their way into the “danger zone,” a child may be naturally drawn by curiosity to engage with the toys. The way to enforce a no-toy zone will depend on your individual child’s learning styles.

Add a fireplace safety screen

Fireplace screens today are ornamental and beautiful – and they’re also excellent safeguards against embers and sparks shooting out of the fireplace and causing injury to kids and pets. But even with a good screen, kids should still have a restrictive perimeter around the fireplace.

Convert a wood fireplace to vent-free gas logs

As nostalgic and settling as a roaring wood fire is, no wood fire is as safe as a gas fire. With a set of vent-free gas logs, you’ll have complete control at all times over how high the flames go, and you’ll have a switch to instantly extinguish the fire. Modern gas log sets are designed to look very much like actual wood logs, so you won’t really be sacrificing a lot of aesthetic value.

prefab fireplace

Add glass fireplace doors

If you operate an open masonry fireplace that burns wood, a good safety measure is to install a handsome set of glass fireplace doors. Although open during a fire, glass doors can be protectively shut after using the fireplace to prevent kids or pets from accidentally stumbling into or otherwise accessing hot logs and ash.

These safety measures and some serious talking with your kids will help you keep them safe around your fireplace. Pets may require some additional tactics, but pet safety is definitely doable.

Hudson Valley Chimney of Poughkeepsie, NY, supports stringent fire safety for children, pets and everybody else. One way we can help is to keep your chimney safe by removing flammable creosote. We also perform all levels of chimney inspections and chimney repairs to ensure a safe environment for you and your family. Inquire about our services or schedule an appointment by calling (845) 471-1071.

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