Health Information and Tools > Health A-Z >  Fireplace safety: did you know
Facebook Tweet Email Share

Main Content

Child Safety

Fireplace Safety

Did you know?

  • Every type of fireplace (gas, wood-burning or electric) can be a danger to children.
  • The glass on a gas fireplace heats up to over 200 °C (400 °F) in 6 minutes and stays hot for up to 45 minutes after the fireplace is turned off.
  • It takes less than 1 second for the hot glass of a gas fireplace to cause a serious burn.
  • Toddlers and young children are most at risk of being burned.
  • Many burns caused by touching the glass on a gas fireplace can be serious enough to need surgery and cause long-term problems. The hands are the most commonly burned body part.

What can I do to keep my child safe?

Use a barrier with your fireplace.

Barriers prevent direct contact with the fire, coals or hot glass. There are 3 types of barriers:

  1. Attachable safety screens for gas fireplaces
    • Fasten to the front of a gas fireplace to create an air space between the hot glass and the screen.
    • All gas fireplaces sold after January 1, 2015 must come with a safety screen.
    • Gas fireplace safety screens are not “one size fits all”. They must be made or approved by the manufacturer of your gas fireplace.
  2. Free standing safety gates
    • Wrap around the fireplace, including the hearth. Attach to the wall on both sides of the fireplace.
  3. Free standing fireplace screens
    • These are set back from the fireplace and placed on the fireplace hearth. They are moveable and don’t attach to the fireplace or wall.

Supervise your child

  • If you leave the room while the fire is burning or the fireplace is still hot, take your child with you. Never leave your young child alone near a burning fireplace.
  • Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Make sure it is completely out before you go to bed or leave the house.
  • Restaurants, hotels, and other homes may not have safety barriers around their fireplaces so make sure you’re always close to your child when you visit.

Use smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Install both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.

Current as of: March 1, 2018

Author: Provincial Injury Prevention Program, Alberta Health Services