How to Baby Proof Fireplace

How to Baby Proof Fireplace

How to Baby Proof Fireplace

Baby proofing your home is an efficient way to secure your little one’s safety, especially if your house has a lot of accident-prone areas like a fireplace. It is every parent’s best concern to ensure their child’s safety, as well as to provide them with a pro-child environment without compromising the important amenities or your house’s interior design. Fireplaces are a standard house amenity in the US. In fact, more than half of the total households in the States have a fireplace. Hence, how to baby proof fireplace is a critical concern for millions of parents.

If you are looking for some brilliant baby proofing ideas, then this article is a must-read. Here are some awesome ideas and tips to consider when baby proofing your fireplace to give your baby a safe and child-friendly home.

Gated Fireplace

This is a typical solution for most parents. You can put a fireplace gate as a barricade around the parameters of the fireplace. Doing this will prevent your baby from getting close to the devouring flames of the fire.

If you are thinking of a stand-alone gate as your barricade, this might not be a great idea as babies can easily pull it down and get near to the fireplace. It is recommended to have a secure barracade that is firmly attached to the sides of the fireplace. While some parents opted to just put their babies in a crib while leaving the fireplace gate-free, it is still best to allow your baby to move around the place to practice his motor skills, right?

How about restricting the baby instead? Sure, you can do that, but it is easier to restrict static things like the fireplace as compared to babies that usually need a lot of attention and move quite a lot.

 Chalkboard Fireplace Cover

If you are looking for innovative ideas on how to baby proof fireplace at home, then try this chalkboard fireplace cover. Instead of a fireplace gate, you can use a chalkboard instead. Design your fireplace in a way that a wood cover can be easily inserted when the fireplace is not in use.

When a fireplace is in use, parents usually give more attention to their kids. However, they tend to let their guard down when the fireplace is not in use. This is a common mistake that you should not follow. A fireplace, whether in use or not, can still pose a danger to your kids. This cool chalkboard cover is an innovative way to not just protect your babies from any harm, but giving them fun things to do while cultivating their learning process.

 Glass Fireplace Cover

Another option to baby proof your fireplace is through glass insulation. A fireplace is more safe and secure if it is enclosed with a glass door. Make sure that the glass you use can withstand the pressure coming from the heat of the flame.

A glass covered fireplace is also effective when you leave the wood fireplace unattended. Unlike the gas fireplace wherein you can just switch off the gas, wood fireplace takes time to put off the fire safely. The glass door is an excellent method of preventing more oxygen from getting inside the fireplace. The less oxygen the fireplace has, the easier it is to put off the flame.

 Glass Door with Foam Insulation

If you are not keen on using glass door alone to secure your fireplace, you can add and use the Polyurethane foam for the area surrounding your fireplace. When a fireplace is in use and has no secured cover, chances are, the heat might escape outside, heating the surrounding area. This can be a potential danger for your baby that is playing near the fireplace, or it can even be the cause of fire-related accidents at home.

Foam insulation is also a favorite method used by a lot of parents to secure their child’s safety. It is an efficient way of conserving the heat inside the fireplace. You can contact or ask a professional help to properly install your foam insulation.

 Wood Blocks

When tight on budget and glass and foam insulation is something you can’t afford, worry not, this fun and interesting wood block idea is the perfect budget solution for your fireplace. A lot of parents are looking for cheap ways on how to baby proof fireplace without compromising safety and all. Well, this wood block idea is certainly a stunner!

Instead of piling your fire woods in a separate place or cabinet, you can use them to block the fireplace instead! Of course, it is only applicable when the fireplace is not in use. These piled up woods will serve as a compressed barricade that prevents babies from touching or sticking their hands inside the fireplace.

Elevated Bench

Adding an elevated bench in front of your fireplace is also a great baby proofing strategy. In fact, it can be stylish as well. If your baby is fond of crawling near the fireplace, an elevated bench will prevent him or her to get too close. Just make sure that the elevated bench is baby proofed as well.

You can also apply foam insulation for a more secure protection. If you are aiming for a more stylish fireplace, there is no problem with that. You can add a vibrant and interesting cover with matching pillows to make it look like a small couch.

 Fireplace Screen

The fireplace screen is a little bit different from the fireplace gate mentioned above. A gated fireplace resembles that of an actual gate. The fireplace screen is a design that is best for preventing the toddlers from getting too close and seeing the fireplace. Although there are transparent screens available, we personally recommend using the non-transparent ones. Why? It is because of the following reasons:

  • Babies are curious in nature; if they see something that attracts their eyes, they are likely to get closer and attempt to touch it.
  • Using a non-transparent fireplace screen is more effective in keeping your baby’s attention away from the fireplace.

There are a lot of impressive screen designs available in the marketplace. While most parents choose to have an eye-catching design, we suggest choosing a design that complements your house’s interior. Unless you purchase a more sturdy fireplace screen, you just have to stick to the plain design to avoid baby’s attention.

 Bookshelf-Inspired Fireplace Cover

This is one of our favorite baby proofing ideas. If you have the heart for reading and books, in general, why not integrate your interest in keeping your fireplace secured? We have read about old fireplaces turned into permanent bookshelves, but why choose one if you can have both, right? The solution to this is a movable bookshelf cover!

If your fireplace is a little elevated from the floor, then it is even more stunning. You can install a sliding bookshelf that can be moved sideways if you want to use the fireplace and slide it close if not. Just make sure that bookshelf material is fireproof, or you can put the fireplace a little bit farther into the hearth and insulate the bookshelf.

It is not just a simple DIY project to baby proof your home; it is also an interesting addition to your house’s interior appeal!

 A Pile of Book Cases

If you have huge, empty plastic boxes in your house, they can be useful to baby proof your fireplace. Fill the boxes with books to give them a sturdy stand, then pile them up in front of the fireplace to cover the opening.

The books inside the cases will make them heavy; thus, your baby cannot push them off easily. It is also an outstanding method of keeping your place tidy, don’t you think?

 Magnetic Fireplace Cover

An insulated magnetic fireplace cover is another alternative of the chalkboard cover mentioned above. Instead of a plain flat space, why not make it even more interesting by letting your kids stick fun shapes and drawings on the board? Whether you are using a wood fireplace or a gas one, this insulated magnetic cover is surely a creative way to baby proof your fireplace.

You can also add magnetic draft stopper and magnetic vent cover in your fireplace for a safer, more secure, and more exciting home for your little buddies.

Frequently Asked Questions About Baby Proofing a Fireplace

How do you baby proof a peninsula (3-sided) fireplace ?

A 3-sided fireplace is an interesting design for a fireplace, but its design does not make it difficult to baby proof. The best way to protect your kids from these types of fireplace is to use a fireplace gate that can be extended for a longer length. You can surround the peninsula using the gate and attached it on both sides of the fireplace.

Do I need to have a chimney for my fireplace before I baby proof it ?

No, a chimney is a great idea to have a proper heat ventilation for your fireplace, but it isn’t necessary as long as you have other forms of well-functioning ventilation. You can have your fireplace’s roof or wall vented properly to avoid any potential accident.

How can I control the heat emission of the fireplace ?

You can either have a thermostat or an adjustable heat setting. A thermostat is ideal in controlling the amount of heat that will be distributed around the fireplace’s space. If your baby is very sensitive to the heat, then controlling the temperature around the fireplace is a crucial consideration.

The adjustable heating system, on the other hand, serves as your fireplace’s dial. This allows you to control the fire’s flame up or down.

Can I use a piece of furniture to baby proof the fireplace ?

Yes, you can use your living room’s coffee table as a blockage to baby proof the fireplace. However, this is only applicable when the fireplace is turned off or not in use. A sofa is also a great alternative if your coffee table is too small to cover the fireplace door.  There are a lot of innovative ideas on how to baby proof fireplace. You just have to find the perfect one that best suits your style and preferrence.

Is it necessary to baby proof the fireplace hearth ?

We recommend to baby proof the fireplace hearth to protect your baby at any cost. To do this, you can use a hearth cushion to cover the top of the hearth. The advantage of using a genuine hearth cushion is that it is flame retardant, meaning it can be exposed to the heat without burning. So, whether you are using the fireplace or not, the hearth is still baby proofed.

How much does it cost to baby proof a fireplace ?

The cost mainly depends on the type of proofing you want to achieve. Do you want it to be gated? Do you want to baby proof the top of the earth and the surrounding floor? Your materials’ supplier also matters, as well as the quality of the materials used. You can also search for other baby proof products on the net and read some reviews about them.

We recommend to contact a certified baby proofing contractor and ask for an estimated quote. If you want to cut the budget short, you can also do your own Do It Yourself project. Just secure the materials and baby proof the fireplace on your free time. A quick search on the internet will also give you a simple and easy-to-follow tutorial about baby proofing a fireplace.

Fire incident is one of the leading causes of deaths. According to the US Fire Administration, about 3,240 deaths caused by the fire were recorded in the US alone. Therefore, residential fire preventive measures should be implemented, and baby proofing is a smart way to minimize this occurrence. If you want to prevent any tragic event from happening, then it is best to follow all the safety measures as possible. Learning how to baby proof fireplace is a valuable skill that you can apply to ensure your family’s safety, as well as your own.