We figured out the best way for how to baby proof fireplace. You should use a baby gate, fireplace screen, carbon monoxide detector, and get rid of sharp edges by baby proofing the hearth.
Snuggling up by the fireplace is a wonderful experience all parents would cherish with their children. This is especially true for the colder times of the year. However, as parents, it can be scary to think of how fireplaces could give our kids burns and injuries!
By the end of this article, you’ll have all the knowledge and tools you need to child-proof your fireplace from your children!
How to Baby Proof Your Fireplace: 4 Easy Methods
1. Use a Baby Gate
The easiest way to keep your baby away from the fireplace is to use a baby gate.
A baby gate is a barrier you put around the fireplace to block off easy access. Some baby gates are also wide enough to work well as an enclosed play yard too!
The ideal baby gates are the ones you can attach securely to your walls. A free-standing gate can be convenient to use for other purposes, but it isn’t the best to use as a barrier.
A child can easily knock down a free-standing fireplace gate, which is the last thing you want to happen when trying to keep the fire place area safe!
It would also be ideal to get a gate with doors to give adults easy access to the fireplace. A portion of the gate could either be retractable or can swing out, and it would be best if these can be locked shut too.
These functions are reliable child-proofing features, but it could get tricky once your little one isn’t so little anymore.
An older child might already know how to unlock these gates, so be sure to try out the other child-proofing methods for the most effective solution.
2. Baby Proof the Fireplace Hearth
To baby-proof your entire fireplace, you also have to pay attention to the area around it. Baby proofing your hearth should be the next thing to worry about.
How to Baby Proof a Stepped Hearth
Stepped hearths can be dangerous for infants because they have sharp edges, be a surface your infant can bump into, and if they’re made of stone or brick, it can scrape their precious skin.
Baby proofing hearths isn’t a complicated process. All you need are the right materials to get rid of the hard surfaces and sharp edges.
If you want to babyproof your hearth but still plan on using it in the future, you’ll need the following:
Hearth Pads/Hearth Cover:
- KidKusion Taupe Soft Seat Hearth Pad – this seat pad has a 3-piece design, covers 90 inches across the front of the hearth, latex-free, and is flame-retardant. You might have to cut some of the pieces to make it fit well, so cut carefully!
- Kidkusion Brown Soft Seat Hearth Pad – this is the exact same model, but with a different color. You might want to consider this brown hue if it matches your living room better.
Corner Pieces/Corner Guards:
- Roving Cove Table Corner Edge Protectors – this is a heavy-duty, premium rubber foam that can absorb any impact. This can fit well for all kinds of furniture corners, not just for your hearth!
- Safety 1st Foam Fireplace Guard – this was made specifically for hearths, so it’s a good pick-up to get rid of sharp corners quickly.
Applying these materials to stepped hearths is straightforward. You just have to place the pad on top of your hearth, apply the corner pieces to the sharp edges, and you’re done!
How to Baby Proof a Flat Hearth
If you have a flat hearth, consider your baby proofing job much easier!
You don’t have to worry about the dangers a stepped hearth can give your children. All you have to worry about is keeping your toddler away from the fireplace as much as possible.
You can either use a gate, place decorative items in front of the hearth to create some distance, or use a fireplace door to keep your little one safe from embers and sparks.
You should also place soft mats on top of the hearth just in case your toddler trips or falls.
If your flat hearth has a slight step that elevates it, you should also prevent it from being a tripping hazard by placing soft mats around it to match its height.
3. Use Fireplace Doors/Fireplace Screen
Not all fireplaces have protective doors, so a fireplace door is another essential item some parents might need to get to prevent their kids from getting burns and injuries.
Like we said previously, fireplace doors can keep your little one safe from flying sparks and embers. Just make sure that you child proof a fireplace before letting your child roam around.
The ideal fireplace screen should have a fireplace door for easy access, a sturdy fixture that can attach to walls, and also come with fireplace tools for added value.
A free-standing fireplace screen might have a better design and give more convenience, but a toddler could easily knock it down. Attachable firescreens would be the best option for the safety of your kids.
It would also be great to get fireplace doors with magnetic latches or door locks to keep them shut and hard to open for babies. You can also buy a separate fireplace door lock in case your firescreen doesn’t have one.
For the best options for your children’s safety, you can check out our guide on the best babyproof fireplace screens on the market.
If ever you do get fireplace doors that come with tools, don’t forget to keep the tools far away from your child’s reach! And just make sure it has a secure fireplace lock.
4. Get a Carbon Monoxide Detector
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is also known as the “Invisible Killer” because it’s an odorless and colorless gas that can be poisonous if inhaled in high amounts.
What produces carbon monoxide? Fire.
For the safety of your entire family, it’s important to deal with this CO problem whenever you use the fireplace or use other household appliances that use gas, for that matter.
It’s a safety hazard that any parent could easily forget about!
Carbon monoxide can also be a bit more harmful to children since they still have developing bodies.
Whether you have wood-burning or gas fireplaces, the best way to monitor the carbon monoxide levels is with a carbon monoxide detector. This functions similarly to a fire smoke detector, so it’s easy to monitor.
Don’t forget to inspect and replace batteries every few months to ensure that your family’s safety isn’t compromised!
How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Build-Up
Most cases of carbon monoxide poisoning are due to clogged fireplace vents and poor ventilation systems.
To prevent CO from building up because of your fireplace, you have to maintain your fireplace regularly.
Inspect your fireplace chute and fireplace vents to see if it needs cleaning. The ventilation system can get blocked by dirt or weather damage, so don’t forget to clean it from time to time.
Doing this can prevent CO from building up inside your home.
After cleaning, all you have to do is perform regular inspections and keep it as clean as possible to prevent clogs.
Is a Fireplace Bad for Babies?
For obvious reasons, a fireplace can be a dangerous place for your little one to hang around in.
They could come in contact with hot glass and fire, get hit by fire sparks and embers, play with the fireplace tools, and hurt themselves if the fireplace hearth has sharp corners!
On top of that, fire produces carbon monoxide gas. Without proper ventilation and fireplace maintenance, too much exposure to your little one could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning!
It’s important for any family to know how to create a safe space around the fireplace.
How Do You Hide An Unused Fireplace?
If you want to baby-proof your fireplace and don’t plan on using it at all, you can opt to hide it instead.
For those with stepped hearths, the best way to hide your unused fireplace is to turn it into a bench by doing either one of these two DIY solutions.
How to Cover a Fireplace Hearth: 2 DIY Solutions
Using a Bench Cushion
For the first DIY solution, you can turn your hearth into a bench using hearth pads or a bench cushion.
Place the cushion on top of your hearth, put a sheet over it, then throw in some decorative pillows to match your home.
How well this would look in your home will depend on what pillows and sheets you use. If you don’t want an eyesore, make sure to pick the right colors to match your living room!
Using Foam Mats
Another DIY solution is to use interlocking foam play mats to cover your entire hearth. You can use play mats for kids if you already have some, or you can purchase foam mats that match your home decor better.
You might have to cut the foam mats to fit the shape of your hearth snuggly. Make sure to take measurements first and cut them into shape as perfectly as possible.
Your toddler might also try to remove the playmats, so you can either cover the mats with a sheet or superglue the mats together instead.
Here are some great home decor-friendly foam mats you can consider buying:
- Yes4All Interlocking Foam Mats – these mats are perfect to match wooden designs. It has 6 different colors you can choose from, and you can either get a pack that covers 12 square feet or 36 square feet.
- We Sell Mats 3/8 Inch Thick Multipurpose Floor Mat – this mat has 17 different colors that can match any home design. It also has edge pieces to get rid of the ridges, and you can get packs that can cover 12 to 100 square feet!
If you’ll be using children’s playmats, one way to make your hearth bench look prettier is to put sheets on top of it. You can also still throw in some decorative pillows if you’d like.
For those with flat hearths, you can hide your fireplace with fireplace doors then add decorative items in front of it.
Like what we mentioned earlier, you can also place soft mats on top of the hearth in case your child will trip or fall.
How to Stop Your Baby from Climbing the Fireplace
If your children are a rowdy bunch, it can be stressful worrying about them climbing on top of the fireplace.
The most effective way to stop them from climbing up the fireplace is to use baby gates as a barrier. We mentioned some great gate options above, so look back and see which ones will be most effective for your situation.
A 3-in-1 gate is one option to consider if you’re looking to get the best value. A 3-in-1 gate can function more than just a fireplace barrier. You can use these as standard gates or even turn them into a play yard for your child!
As relaxing as it is to stay warm by the fire during the winter, keeping your child safe from any danger can be just as relaxing for any parent!
We hope you learned all you need to know on how to baby-proof your fire place and make your home a safer place for your little one!
Check out our baby proofing checklist to ensure that your home is suitable for your newborn.
You can also take a look at our List of Infant Safety Guidelines if you want to cover all the bases to protect your little one!
August 13, 2021 – made minor updates to article links
July 23, 2021 – Reviewed and updated article links