Whether or not you use your fireplace on a regular basis, you will need to babyproof it when expecting a new arrival.
Every situation is different, so when thinking about how to babyproof a fireplace, you should examine the potential dangers surrounding your fireplace before making a plan.
The obvious danger is the heat from an active fire, but others include the ash in a cold fire, the sharp edges of the hearth, heavy fireplace tools, and so on.
Here are some ideas on how to babyproof and childproof a fireplace.
How To Block Fireplace From Baby
Pleasant Hearth Fireplace Doors
|View On AmazonView On Home Depot|
|View On AmazonView On Tractor Supply|
Hearth Pads And Bumpers
|View On AmazonView On Walmart|
There are different types of fireplaces that babies need to be kept away from:
- Wood burning fireplaces – could be closed or open
- Electric fireplaces – might be inserts, wall-mounted, or freestanding
- Gas fireplaces – mostly wall inserts, perhaps in old fireplace spaces
The first thing to do to make a fireplace childproof is to minimize access.
Your fireplace should have a closeable door at a bare minimum – something which gas and electric fireplaces come with.
For greater fireplace safety when babies are around, you could gate, guard, or fence off your entire fireplace area.
We have a wood-burning stove in our home, and this has a strong fire guard around it all year long.
This prevents the children from being able to get near the fire, keeps them from falling and hitting themselves on our woodstove’s sharp edges, and instills in them the fact it’s a no go zone.
You can’t teach babies not to crawl towards the fireplace, but as they get older, education about the dangers of fireplaces, wood stoves, and other heating appliances is key.
In this way keeping babies away from the fire is much easier than keeping cats out of the fireplace!
Whether you use your fireplace regularly or not, you’ll want to have a fireplace door to protect the baby from fireplace hazards.
The best fireplace door will have both a mesh screen and a closeable glass door to provide two layers of protection from your baby playing with the innards of your fireplace or reaching into the fire in curiosity.
If you’ve used a stand-up fireplace screen in the past, you might consider replacing it with a fireplace door since a baby can hurt themselves by pulling down a fireplace screen. Plus, if it’s close enough to the fire, it can be hot enough to cause burns.
When thinking about how to babyproof a fireplace, don’t forget to put a child lock on your fireplace door.
You will need to examine your fireplace doors and usage habits to decide which lock type will work best.
Unless the lock is heat resistant, it should be removable when the fireplace is in use.
Fireplace lock options:
- Oven door lock – heat resistant, works with any style of doors
- Fireplace locks – for use on doors with horizontal handles
- Sliding locks – not heat resistant, best for loop handles and knobs
Fireplace Gates And Guards
Babies can still get contact burns from glass-fronted fireplaces.
So, when you’re fireplace is in use, it’s a good idea to think about how to block the fireplace from a baby.
A fireplace baby gate is your best answer. Fireplace child guards come in various sizes to cordon off as much or as little space as needed.
The fencing keeps the baby out of the entire fireplace area, and the gate lets you in as needed.
Then you don’t have to worry about your baby and the fireplace when you turn your head for a few seconds.
A guard is a good way of keeping babies away from electric fireplaces as well.
Pad Sharp Hearth Corners
If you don’t have a gate around your fireplace, you should evaluate sharp edges that could be potential fall dangers.
You can easily eliminate fall hazards by padding sharp hearth corners.
There are a few options available to babyproof fireplace hearth corners:
- Padded hearth cushion – padding your entire hearth provides soft seating and sharp edge protection
- Edge bumper – edge bumpers just protect from the sharp edges around your hearth
These padding options can be used for other hard or sharp surfaces around the house as well.
Remove Other Dangers
A baby puts everything in its mouth and turns everything into a toy in its exploration of the world.
So, it’s a good idea to keep fireplace tools, matches, fireplace keys, and even wood out of reach.
Fireplace shovels, tongs, brushes, and ash buckets are all fair game for little hands. You can get your tools off the floor and still keep them handy with wall-mount hooks.
Keeping matches up high keeps curious hands away. You can either hang them on the wall near the fireplace or keep them up high on the mantel.
Some match-holding options include:
- Matchbox – mounts on the wall, for short matches
- Match striker jar – sits on the mantel, for short matches
- Glass match jar – sits on the mantel, for long matches
Alternately, you could switch to an electric lighter that you can keep on the mantel.
Be sure to choose one that is childproof rather than a one-touch version.
If you’re accustomed to having large stacks of wood near the fireplace, you might want to reconsider.
While there are firewood rack covers that you can use to secure the wood inside the rack, there’s still risk involved.
A baby or toddler has the potential to pull the whole firewood rack down on themselves. So, you will also want to secure it to the wall with a furniture anchor so that it cannot fall over.
A better option is to just keep a small firewood rack with a minimal number of small logs.
Fireplace Safety For Babies
Learning how to babyproof a fireplace is not difficult.
When thinking about how to protect a baby from fireplace dangers, preventing accidents and removing temptation are key factors.
Every home and every fireplace is unique, so it’s important to think carefully.
Supervision of children around active fireplaces is extremely important, and educating them on the risks as they’re able to understand is only natural to do.
If you do simply have an empty space, check out these ideas for unused fireplaces – there are plenty of kid-friendly options as well.