Oct 12, 2014

Gas Fireplaces - Too Hot for Tots

Every year, children are burned from contact with the glass barrier at the front of a gas fireplace. Statistics show that contact burns – injuries sustained when a part of the body touches a hot object – are the second leading cause of burns in children.

Children have been burned when they have fallen towards the gas fireplace and have pushed up against the hot glass for balance. Serious third- degree burns are the result. Others have touched the glass only for a moment out of curiosity. It takes just two seconds to be seriously burned. Many children have been burned while parents are in the room. Children are not only at risk for burns when the gas fireplace is in use but before and after use too. The glass barrier can heat up to more than 200°C in about six minutes during use. It takes an average of 45 minutes for the fireplace to cool to a safe temperature  after a fire has been extinguished. Some children have even been burned when the fireplace is not in use, by the heat from the ignition light. Children are at risk of a burn injury whenever they are around a gas fireplace.

To keep your child safe around gas fireplaces: 

  • Never leave a young child alone near a gas fireplace; they can be burned before, during, and after use of the fireplace
  • Create a barrier around the gas fireplace; safety guards can be installed to keep your child at a safe distance at all times
  • Teach children about the dangers of fire; children are fascinated by heat and fire and may not understand the dangers
  • Consider not using the fireplace if you have young children less than five years of age, using it only after your children have gone to sleep, or consider turning the unit off completely, including the ignition flame, whenever the unit is not in use
  • Be aware of contact burn dangers from irons, curling irons, radiators, older oven doors, wood-burning stoves, and fireplaces

It takes an average of 45 minutes for the fireplace to cool to a safe temperature after a fire has been extinguished.

Source: TSSA Autumn Watch