Many of us have our heaters, fires and central heating on quite most of the year. For those with young children this can pose something of a problem. For that reason today at BabySecurity we want to give you a few tips on how to protect your little ones from fire related injuries.
With log and coal fires it is pretty obvious to young child looking at the flames that they are hot and dangerous. But unfortunately many types of fire or heater do not look as obvious as this is. Electric heaters, gas fires and bar radiators don’t tend to look hot at all, and this can be deceiving.
Not only that but in many of these cases once the heater has been switched off and the bars or grill has dimmed from red to a more innocuous colour it is almost impossible for a young child to appreciate that there will be considerable latent heat for some time afterwards, constituting a danger that is almost completely unseen.
Even central heating radiators can be a potential danger, more so because of the fact that they do not change visually at all from cold to scalding hot. If they are controlled by a thermostat or timer then you may well not even consciously be aware of whether a radiator is on or not.
Every year in the UK over 750 children have to be sent to hospital with very painful burns as a direct result of coming into contact with fires and heaters in the home. This is a completely preventable risk, and with us all using our heaters and radiators more than normal it is a risk which has the potential to grow this year beyond the statistics from last year.
This is why having a fireguard is such an important thing to do when you have a young child or children. A fireguard is essentially a cage which fits around the fire or fireplace, preventing children from getting close enough to the heater or fire to cause discomfort or injury.
Because the fire guards are made from an open mesh material they do not in any way impair the effectiveness of the heater in raising the overall room temperature. The design of many fire guards is such that they do not detract from the style and beauty of a fireplace either, although in any case they are easily removable.
It is important to remember that a fireguard will need to be physically attached to the wall either side of the fireplace. The usual method for doing this is to have a hook screwed into the wall on each side of the fireplace. A hinged clasp or hook on each side of the fireguard allows this to be attached and detached quickly and conveniently, whilst at the same time making sure that any child who holds onto the fireguard and pulls on it will be unable to either remove it, or fall down with it on top of them.
What fireguard should you choose?
If you are looking to purchase a fireguard then it is important to bear in mind two or three points. First of all there is the issue of size. Make sure you measure how far it is from one side of the fireplace to the other.
Usually you will want your fireguard to extend to the outer sides of any fireplace or mantelpiece which you have. For wider fireplaces you may well find that an extending fireguard is the most convenient solution, but if you are likely to be moving house at any time in the near future an extending fireguard provides you with the versatility and flexibility of knowing that you will be able to fix the fireguard over virtually any new fireplace or surround in future.
Another thing to make sure is that when you are buying the fireguard it fully conforms with the appropriate safety regulations. The safety standard reference which you should be looking for is BS8423 2002.
Finally you may wish to consider whether you need one fireguard or more than one. Think about whether it is more convenient to have a fireguard over each fireplace or radiator which could potentially pose a danger, or whether you are happy to move the fireguard as appropriate.
Also, make sure that apart from fire guards your home is child proof safe with our range of baby safety products at BabySecurity.