One of the most enjoyable things is sitting in front of a crackling fireplace with your family on a cold, winter day. However, for your young children and four-legged furry friends, the flames from the fireplace can pose a serious risk to their safety. Aside from having a professional come to your home and perform routine inspections and maintenance on your chimney, there are also certain safety measures that you should take to protect your children and pets when they find themselves close to the fireplace. Here are three tips that will ensure you and everyone in the house can enjoy sitting near a crackling fire this upcoming winter.
Install a Barrier
To ensure that the kids or pets are not able to have direct access to the fireplace, you will want to install some kind of covering or barrier in front of the fire itself. Mesh and glass doors tend to be very common and popular examples, but these types of materials tend to also transmit heat, which can burn children (or adults) and pets if they are touched. Because of this, you may want to consider a different kind of or an additional barrier like a decorative gate. In addition, you will want a professional to inspect the primary covering of the fireplace annually to make sure that it can properly block sparks and embers.
Cushion the Hearth
The fire itself can be very dangerous for those in the household, but if someone were to fall close to the hearth, injuries can occur. As a general rule, brick, tile, and stone are used around the fireplace due to their durability and ability to withstand increased heat. While these materials can result in a serious injury in the event of a fall, it is possible to remedy the issue with the addition of some padding to the hearth. However, keep in mind that this added padding needs to be flame-resistant.
It is very important that any children and pets that are in a room with a fire are never left unattended. To ensure that they don't make their way into the living room or other room where an active fire is as you are cooking dinner or doing laundry, consider having gates installed at the doorways. In addition, when you leave the room, you should also ensure that they leave with you.
For more information on fireplace safety, to have a fireplace installed, or to schedule a fireplace inspection, contact a professional in your area or go online to sites like http://www.villagefireplaceandbbq.com.