A fireplace may become intriguing for a baby who is beginning to crawl or walk. The scrapes and bruises that may result from a baby trying to climb on a fireplace hearth can be avoided by the use of a fireplace hearth covering. There are a variety of fireplace safety products available to cover a fireplace hearth and make a safer environment for baby.
Foam padding, sometimes referred to as hearth padding, may be placed around the edges of a fireplace hearth to soften the corners that can be dangerous for a baby. Hearth padding may be secured by double-sided tape or Velcro to the entire edge of the hearth, making the sharp edges softer and safer for a curious baby who is becoming mobile.
Hearth guards are used to cover the entire hearth surface, instead of only the edges of the fireplace hearth. Made of a fire-resistant foam material, hearth guards may be custom made to accommodate a hearth of any size or shape, according to BabySafetyFoam.com. Foam hearth guards provide a soft surface to reduce the possibility of injury to a baby who is learning to crawl, stand or walk.
A hearth gate is similar to a standard baby gate, but is specifically designed to fit around a fireplace hearth. The purpose of a hearth gate is to keep the heat and fire in a fireplace at a safe distance from a baby, as well as the sharp corners and edges that are common to a fireplace hearth, according to TotSafe.com. Hearth gates are made of steel, and contain a number of interlocking sections to accommodate hearths of various shapes. There is one section included in the hearth gate that may be easily opened by an adult so he can reach the fireplace.
Fireplace Door Guard
A fireplace door guard may be mounted to keep the doors closed for fireplaces with glass bi-fold doors. When the door guard is mounted onto the door handles, it makes the doors immobile until the door guard is removed. Fireplace door guards can protect a baby's fingers from getting pinched in the folding doors, as well as keep a baby from reaching into the fireplace and getting burnt by a fire, according to TotSafe.com. Door guards may be removed easily by an adult to allow access to the fireplace.
General Fireplace Safety
Heating fires account for 36 per cent of residential home fires each year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. To reduce the risk of a home fire, the fireplace hearth should be clear of debris, decorations and flammable materials. Use a metal mesh screen with the fireplace, and keep it closed while a fire is burning. Never leave a fire in a fireplace unattended, and use fire-resistant materials on walls near the fireplace.