“Winter is coming” is a famous saying from a well-known TV show. Fortunately for us in the real world, we don’t have to worry about the same terrors as they do in Westeros. I somehow doubt that a fireplace baby gate would solve any problems there anyway.
One of my favorite things to do in the cold winter is to light up the fireplace. It brings a pleasant warmth to the house in addition to being just an overall cozy thing to do. For some people, burning wood or gas is their only source of heat on a cold winter day.
As we all know though, a fireplace can represent a real hazard. This is especially true if you have babies or toddlers roaming around nearby. As a responsible parent, you need to make sure that there is no chance for your child to get burnt or injured in any other way.
In the US, about 12 % of all unintentional fatal injuries of children between one and four years old is caused by fire and burns. That is a huge number, and it should tell everyone of us to take these potential hazards seriously.
There are three major hazards for your child around fireplaces.
- Heat and burns
- Bumping into hard materials
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
In this post we will suggest a solution to the first two of these. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning we suggest that you get an alarm that detects if the levels are too high. If you want, you can check out the alarm that we recommend here.
Also if you want to know more about carbon monoxide poisoning you should read this guide by the CSPC.
All right, so let us talk about the two remaining hazards.
Burns and Bruises
The first one is rather self-explaining. A hot fireplace can potentially lead to severe burns if someone is unlucky enough to touch it without any protection. Grown ups know that getting too close to a hot object can be dangerous, but babies and toddlers do not have this knowledge yet and, in contrast to many other tings in life, you do not want them to learn this the hard way.
The second one might need a bit more explaining for some of you.
Many fireplaces have something called a hearth around it. The meaning of the word has changed somewhat over time. Today, when we say hearth, we are talking about the flat area, or ledge, around the fireplace. See the image below. Its function is to catch embers that jump out of the fireplace.
Usually, the hearth is made from really hard materials with sharp edges like stone or brick. For babies and toddlers, hearths can be very dangerous if they fall onto them. All of this means that we need to make sure that we baby proof the hearts as well as the fireplace itself.
So how do we best secure both our hot fireplace and our sharp and hard hearth?
You guessed it! With a fireplace baby gate.
Without a doubt, the best way to avoid that our children get injured is to make sure that it is not possible for them to get close to the dangerous object.
By using fireplace gates for babies, we can keep them away from both the heat and the sharp edges, all in one simple stroke.
Install a fireplace baby gate around the dangerous area
This is of course the most intuitive, and maybe the best, way to approach the problem. All you have to do is to find a gate (some people refer to it as a fireplace fence for babies) that can be installed around everything. This means that both the hot fireplace and the hearth would be inside the fence, and therefore unreachable for toddlers and babies.
In the summer you might not need to have the gate up. These gates can in many cases then be used to seal of other areas. It is not seldom to see people use the same fence as a safety gate at the bottom of their stairs.
Make an enclosed area with a fireplace fence for babies
This one is a bit more dramatic, and might not fit everyone. Here you set up a perimeter, usually a circular area, for your child to play in. Essentially it is the opposite of the previous method where we enclosed the fireplace. By doing this you keep your child away from any hazards that are not inside the perimeter.
Finding the best baby safety gate for fireplaces
The rest of this post will be about the products that we recommend. We will provide two alternatives that fits around and two for enclosing an area.
Also, be sure to check out our guide about the best baby gates for 2017.
A really versatile baby fireplace gate. It can be used for not only fireplaces, but all kinds of difficult places that you need to seal off. It is made from durable steel that makes it last a long time.CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON
If the sections that is included in the package is not enough to fit your needs, you can buy additional sections in two different sizes.
This gate features the Auto Close function that KidCo has on many of their baby gates. It is a system that automatically closes the door if you should forget about it. There is also a function for leaving the gate open if you for example have things to carry in or out of the enclosed area.
Mounts to the wall with included hardware. That these gates are hardware mounted is essential as there is no way to pressure mount a gate that has several angles. You can easily release the gate from the hardware mounted brackets if you want to temporary take it out of the way.
Without a doubt one of the best fireplace gates for babies. The video below shows how easy it is to assemble this gate.
If you find that KidCo is a bit pricy, this one might be a better option for you. It is also a gate that is mostly made from steel with details (among other things, the opening system) made from plastic.CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON
Mounts with hardware to walls and when set up properly this gate is very sturdy and good.
There have been some complaints about the directions included. Poor English and pictures that does not correspond with the text can be a big problem. However, if you have some experience with building things, I don’t think this will be a big problem.
As with the KidCo gate, you can of course use this gate at other places than the fireplace. Entry ways and stairways are just two examples.
It is a bit harder to unclip from that mounting brackets, so you should consider is as a permanent solution once installed.
All in all, a good gate that is great value for the price you pay.
Let us now take a look at two play yards you can use to create an area separate from the fireplace. Though these cannot be called a “fireplace fence for babies”, they still do the job of keeping babies and toddlers away from danger.
This is an alternative for small children only, but a great one for that.CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON
Opening and closing it is super easy. For you this means that you do not have to keep the play yard in the middle of your living room when there are no children present. It is also highly portable.
As mentioned earlier, you should only use this one for small kids. The recommended max weight is 30 pounds.
Really, really good. We have been using the Pop N Play and absolutely love it.
As with the 4Moms options this is a portable play yard and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. For a period, we actually did not use any other baby gates as the Pop N Play is so easy to move and use in different situations.CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON
The play area measures 14 square feet with a height of 26 inches. In addition, it weighs only 12 pounds.
Simple operation makes it quick to set up and take down. Can be stored and carried in a bag that is included. You can also buy a canopy if you want use it outside on a sunny day.
Fireplace Safety Gate Summary
For us these are the two best methods of securing your small ones from the hazards of a hot fireplace. In addition to the things mentioned in this post you should do your own research to find out other measures that should be taken.
One other thing that we want to mention here is that the signs for when to remove the baby gate might not apply for these gates as it can be nice to have an established safe zone around your fireplace even after a “normal” safety gate would be removed.
We hope that this article has helped you and that you will find the perfect fireplace baby gate.