Friday, March 6, 2009

Fireplace and Wood Stove Safety

Wood Stoves and Fireplaces represent significant hazards to toddlers and young children. The first and most obvious one is the danger of being burnt by the fire in a Fireplace or the hot surface of a Wood Stove or Gas Fireplace.

Lets deal with Wood Stoves first. Almost all Wood Stoves are installed on a brick or stone surface. Some are raised and some are at floor level. The best solution is a HearthGate, it surround the Wood Stove and should be installed at least two feet away from the stove to make sure that a child can not reach the hot surface through the the bars of the gate. This solution guards against burns and the possibility of a toddler falling against the hard surface of the stove or hearth. To the best of my knowledge this is the only practical solution.

Wood burning fireplaces also represent considerable risk to children. As with Wood Stoves the possibility of burns is a major concern and in most cases there is also a raise hearth to contend with. The best solution here is also the HearthGate. In some cases parents may be looking for a different solution. If that is the case for you I would suggest a Fireplace Lock and a Hearth Pad. Hearth Guards as they are also called come in various shapes sizes and colors. Some cover the edge and top of the hearth, some attach with adhesive and some clamp on, you can get them with either standard or oversized edges. Hearth Pads are easy to install and can be kept clean with a damp rag.

The last hazard is the Gas Fireplace. These are exceptionally dangerous. Many generate massive amounts of heat and their surfaces would case instantaneous severe burns. The best solution would be not to use it and just turn of the gas. At the very least make sure that the remote control or switch that controls it is out of reach. The best solution is the same as the others. Install a HearthGate its simple the best solution.

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