Another danger hot spot for you baby or child (excuse the pun!) is the fireplace – and not just because of the risk of burns. Sharp hearth edges, fire tools, dirty surfaces and gas valves are all good reasons to baby proof the fireplace and keep babies at a safe distance. Check out the main considerations.
We would urge even the most vigilant of parents to consider a fireplace fence or gate – you can’t watch your kids 100% of the time and there are some great options out there (remember though that children always need to be supervised around fire). So, where do you start baby proofing your fireplace and hearth?
Configurable baby gates
Baby gates for fireplaces are a perfect way to keep curious babies away from the fire and hearth. They tend to be made from steel so they’re very robust, hardware mounted so they don’t topple over and customisable because every house is different. Some are multi-purpose too and can double up as a play yard or room divider.
Even when your fire isn’t on danger still lurks on sharp corners and hard surfaces, even in the air. There are plenty of ways to protect your child from bumps and bruises.
Check out our favourite products to baby proof your fireplace and hearth.
North States Superyard 3-in-1 Metal Gate
There’s so much to love about this gate! The North States Superyard is an incredibly popular and highly rated gate, not least because it’s so versatile. It’s great for so many areas: around the bottom of the stairs, the fireplace, as a room divider or a play yard (always use the supplied hardware mounts if using as an extra wide baby gate, around a fireplace or near stairs).
It’s slightly wider than a lot of the alternatives at 144 inches out of the box, with the option to extend as much as you like and is great for pets too (try putting it around your Christmas tree to keep your dog away from the Christmas presents!).
Because it’s made from metal this fireplace gate is super sturdy, and conveniently come with rubber pads so you can use them on a wooden floor without worrying about slips or scratches.
The gate has a swinging walk-through door panel with a child proof double locking system, it can be mounted onto angled walls and it’s a breeze to set up. Find out more about freestanding play yards here.
KidCO Auto Close Hearth Gate
Devotees of the KidCO Auto Close say they love the easy installation, the sturdiness of the gate and the fact that it’s customisable to your space and needs.
It’s wall mounted so it’s completely secure and each section of the gate has rotating joints, allowing you to create angles which lock off once you have the shape you need. This is great since fireplaces varying so much is size and shape. The opening gate can be positioned wherever you need it.
The KidCO comes with an extra-wide gate section and four 24 inch extensions which gives you 132 inches of gate to fit any 6 ft fireplace (extra panels are available separately in both 9 inch and 24 inch widths).
The ‘dual magnet technology’ means that it will close automatically so you don’t need to worry about it being left open and pushing the gate open as wide as it will go creates a fixed open position to allow you move in and out of the gate without it closing on you.
The KidCO niftily doubles up as a play yard or play area by joining the two ends together (you will need to buy separate panels).
Carbon Monoxide Detector
If you have a fire with little people in the house then a carbon monoxide detector is a must. All fires release carbon monoxide into the air and because it is invisible, odorless and tasteless it can pose a real threat to the health of the whole family.
Carbon monoxide poisoning happens when there is a build up of the gas that gets trapped in poorly ventilated rooms where there is a fire or a gas powered heater. Carbon monoxide detectors work by taking a reading of the gas in the air and sending out an alert if dangerous levels are reached.
Kidde KN-COPP-3 Nighthawk Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Alarm
The Kidde Nighthawk is a reliable and extremely popular choice with parents and it’s easy to see why.
It has state-of-the-art sensor technology, an easy to read digital danger level display (with a record of the highest levels) and loud alarm to alert parents when carbon monoxide levels are high.
Can be wall mounted
Mains power with back up battery
Takes readings every 15 seconds
Baby proofing your hearth
If you’re not using your fire, or prefer not to gate off your fireplace and want to protect your baby or toddler from sharp edges there are lots of options out there.
Roving Cove Safety Edge
Foam safety bumpers are an effective and inexpensive solution to absorb bumps and scrapes on the sharp corners of a step hearth. Roving Cove are the top-rated and best-selling brand in safety bumpers and were the first brand to make fire retardant foam bumpers without toxic chemicals and BPA – a big plus, especially as they’re used next to heat.
This pack will give you 15ft of foam protection as well as four corner cushions. Available in white, black and brown.
If you only want to protect corners, which let’s face are the sharpest areas of the hearth, try Corner Guards. They’re super absorbent, come with pre-applied 3M tape and can be used on most furniture with corners.
KidKusion taupe Soft Seat Hearth Pad, Taupe or White
It’s not just the edge of a hearth that can cause accidents, heads and hearth tops are not a good combination! If you want to protect the top of the hearth as well as the edges, this product will do the job. The KidKusion is made of naturally flame retardant foam and attaches to the hearth with velcro, covering 90 inches across the front of the hearth and 14 inches on the sides.