The procedure of babyproofing a fireplace is multi-step. To begin, use a baby safety fence as a childproof fireplace screen to provide a barrier between your child and the fire, protecting her from burns. Cover sharp edges if you have a stepped hearth. You should also lock the fireplace doors and keep the fireplace equipment out of reach. Finally, keep an eye on carbon monoxide levels.
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More than half of all new houses in the United States include at least one fireplace. If you live in one of the many American homes with a fireplace in the living room or a wood burner in the kitchen, you will need to babyproof it at some point.
Fireplaces aren’t exactly a nefarious threat to children. They’re like stairwells and bathrooms: they’re plainly dangerous, with heat and open flames, sharp edges and hard surfaces, pokey equipment, and carbon monoxide as threats.
You should babyproof your fireplace in the same way you set a baby gate at the top of the stairs and childproof the toilet.
Childproofing a fireplace is something that should be done carefully – ideally before your kid begins to crawl. And, while it’s a little like going to the dentist – slightly unpleasant and not particularly pleasurable – after you’ve done it, you’ll feel lot better about setting your child wild in the living room.
Here’s how to babyproof a fireplace if you’re the parent or carer of a small explorer, including some solutions that aren’t entirely ugly.
Tools You Need To Baby Proof A Fireplace
Whether you have a working fireplace or not (and whether you want to utilize your working fireplace or just leave it dormant throughout your children’s early years) will determine what you need to childproof a fireplace.
Below, we’ve broken everything down for you.
- A childproof fireplace screen that your baby won’t be able to take down if you set up a baby safety fence in front of the fireplace.
- Baby edge protectors or a padded hearth bench are good options for fireplace safety.
- Locks for fireplace doors
- A carbon monoxide detector is a device that detects the presence of carbon monoxid
What You’ll Need to Babyproof a Non-Functioning Fireplace (or One You Don’t Plan on Using)
Baby edge protectors or a padded hearth bench are good options for fireplace safety.
Locks for fireplace doors
Optional: Block the fireplace using a homemade or store-bought fireplace blocker.
A carbon monoxide detector is a device that detects the presence of carbon monoxide
How to Baby Proof a Fireplace
If you have a functioning fireplace that you want to use, you’ll need to make room between the heat and danger of the fire and your crawling, climbing, running, boundary-pushing child.
You don’t want them to receive a burn by going too close to the fire or touching the fireplace doors, for starters. However, you should keep them away from the actual combustion since the process produces Carbon Monoxide, which is bad for your health and safety.
This is one of those parenting situations where having the appropriate tools for the task is essential, such as cutting a baby’s nails, sucking snot with a nasal aspirator, or preserving breast milk.
The ideal way for building a solid and dependable barrier between your child and the fireplace is to use a baby safety fence. They’re more versatile than a baby gate in terms of size and placement, and far more durable than a freestanding fire screen.
A baby safety fence, like a baby gate, is strong enough to endure the frequent testing of an adventurous swashbuckler. It will keep them away from the flames or heated glass, as well as the carbon monoxide fumes produced by the burning. They also make it simple to get to the fireplace when it’s needed.
Clearly, they aren’t the most fashionable options. However, if you childproof the fireplace hearth and install a fireplace door lock, you’ll only need to utilize the fence when the fireplace is on.
How to Baby Proof a Fireplace Hearth
Baby-Proofing a Fireplace Hearth That Isn’t Stepped
If your fireplace is unstepped (that is, it is level with your floor), the major issue is safeguarding your child from the hearth’s generally rough surface – you don’t want any face plants or head bonks onto solid stone.
A cushioned seat cushion or EVA floor tiles might work in this situation, as long as the proportions match with your fireplace. If the EVA foam tiles don’t match your decor, you may cover them with a hallway runner.
You may also put a mobile piece of furniture in front of the fireplace, such as an ottoman bench with storage (the storage can double as a toy box if you need it!)
If your fireplace is on, you must obviously remove these objects.
Baby-Proofing Ideas For A Stepped Fireplace Hearth
Stepped hearths (hearths that are elevated like a bench) are more difficult to childproof. They have rough, sharp edges and are difficult to resist pulling up, climbing, and so on. Furthermore, if you don’t use a baby gate, your baby will have easy access to the fireplace, making it even more critical that you adequately secure this part of your home.
Padded Hearth Cushions
If you have a stepped hearth, a cushioned hearth cushion, such as those produced by KidKushion, is usually the easiest option. They’re not the most appealing, but they’re also not the most unattractive. While they require some finagling to fit, they do a fantastic job and will set your mind at ease when your 2-year-old is racing by your stone fireplace at full speed.
If you don’t like the look of the foam hearth cushion, you can simply replace it with a detachable seat cushion to fit your decor.
Anything combustible should be removed before starting a fire, which should go without saying.
Edge Protectors Made of Foam
If you simply need to safeguard the margins of your fireplace from children, high density foam edge protection is available in a variety of lengths.
Bébé Earth provides a well-rated and inexpensive version, while KOOLDOO makes a well-rated alternative if you require something broader.
This technique has the added benefit of allowing you to reuse any leftover edge protector in other sections of the house. If your mantle is built of brick or stone, you may also hide any rough edges surrounding the fireplace.
While this solution does not perfectly match a home’s decor, it will suffice. At Grandma’s house, we’re now utilizing this on the fireplace. And keep in mind that it’s just for a few years!
Best Childproof Fireplace Screen
Toddleroo offers a wide variety of infant “super yards”; which one you choose is mostly determined by: a) the size and specifications of your fireplace; and b) the architecture and style of your house.
One of their most popular products is the freestanding Metal Superyard, which is ideal for use with a fireplace. A built-in door provides simple access and comes with a variety of mounting options, allowing you to install and secure it wherever you need it.
Toddleroo also offers a wood superyard, which may go in better with your decor than the metal version. However, we’d be a little hesitant to use the wood barrier in front of some fires – something to think about.
Because the Toddleroo yards are so versatile, many of them may be used for many purposes. While it depends on the type you choose, many can be made larger or smaller with the addition of extra panels and are large enough to be used as a freestanding play yard.
Best Choice Baby Hearth Gate
Best Choice also produces a popular baby hearth gate. It looks great around a fireplace or a wood stove, and it’s a little less expensive than some of the other types. It is, however, less versatile than some of the other alternatives since it is too tiny to function as an independent play yard.
PETSJOY 6 Panels Baby Safety Gate
This 6-panel device, which may be used as a hexagonal play yard (free standing), a baby gate for stairs, to shut off a room, or to protect your kid from the fireplace, is another extremely versatile choice. It includes a walk-through gate so grownups can go where they need to go, and it’s pretty classy in comparison to other similar structures.
Lazymoon Baby Fireplace Fence
The fireplace fence by Lazymoon is made particularly for fireplaces, but you can add on more kits to make it more versatile. This might be an excellent alternative if you don’t require anything that will do double duty and want a product that tends to tilt toward the “more inexpensive” end of the pricing spectrum.
We were shocked to discover that when the fire is burning, carbon monoxide levels must be monitored closely. It feels a little like a “duh” moment now that I type it, but there you go!
Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on every floor of your home, in general. You’ll want one on the same floor as any fireplace, though.
I have a Nest Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detector and I really adore it! The app connectivity is a fantastic tool for us, and we use it when we are on vacation because many Airbnb and vacation rentals don’t have CO2 detectors. There are, however, a slew of other highly rated alternatives.
Kidde is a well-known brand, and its goods have some of the top Amazon reviews. They provide both a plug-in and a battery-operated version, both of which have received rave reviews.
More Precautions To Take
The procedures for babyproofing a fireplace are outlined above. However, we recommend taking a few additional precautions to keep your child as secure as possible.
To keep your baby from getting inside the fireplace when it’s not in use, use a fireplace door lock. Because the linked product necessitates the removal of a screwdriver (which is required to operate the fireplace), it’s perfect for keeping the door handles secured when you only use your fireplace rarely.
Put your fireplace tools somewhere where your infant won’t be able to reach them. Fireplace pokers are a recipe for disaster, and they may also get very filthy.
Babyproofing A Fireplace
These are just a few suggestions for baby-proofing your fireplace to keep it safe for curious kids! Invest your time and care in discovering the finest fireplace protection for your house and design to keep your kid genuinely secure.
Hopefully, these suggestions will help you get started on childproofing your fireplace and house.
And if you know any parents or grandparents who may benefit from this information, please forward it to them!