Fire is a warming and comforting thing for nearly everyone. And it’s often part of outdoor fun both in the summer and in the winter. But if you have kids around your fireplace or firepit, good fire safety is a must.
How can you encourage proper use of the fireplace or firepit that keeps your kids and others safe at all time? Here are a few easy things to do at home.
Keep Items Out of Reach
Keep kids from being tempted to play with the fire when you can’t pay attention. To begin with, store all fire accessories away from the fireplace or pit. For example, pokers and fire rakes could be dangerous for rambunctious children even if the fire isn’t lit, so keep these out of the way – perhaps hidden away in a cabinet.
Keep toys, discarded clothes, and pet items well away from the fire. That way, children will be less able to throw anything on the fire. If you have a gas switch that turns on your gas fireplace, keep the key locked and out of reach of all children or place a secure gate in front of the button.
Show Kids the Dangers
You should definitely explain the dangers of a firepit – both when it has a roaring fire and when it has died down. But go beyond simply telling children to stay away. Show them with some simple – but striking – visual aids the dangers of the hot fireplace or pit.
To do this, you could, for instance, drop a few droplets of water onto the outside metal of a hot fire bowl to demonstrate how it sizzles. Or, place a hot ember onto a piece of fabric to reinforce the need to keep clothing and other items away from jumping flames. Show how far flames can jump out of the firepit and discuss why staying far enough away is important.
Set a Good Example
Kids learn from those around them, which means that adults and older children need to set the example. If you tell your small children that the fire is not a toy, the adults shouldn’t treat it as a toy either. No one should ever be allowed to throw random objects into the fire, run or dance around it, stoke it with anything other than a proper metal rod, or leave a fire unattended.
Fires are fun, but never let that get in the way of setting a proper parental example when kids are around. If you have older children as well as young ones, recruit the older ones to help protect younger siblings by taking their own precautions around the fire.
Help Kids Participate
As children get a little bit older, help them to understand how to properly use the fire feature. Young ones could, for instance, help you prepare the area properly – such as cleaning up the area.
Encourage kids to speak up if they see adults sitting too closely or potentially dangerous items laying around. And as your child gets a little older, have them use proper tools to fan a dying fire or prepare sticks for toasting marshmallows.
By participating in using the firepit, kids will have less incentive to experiment around with it as though it were a forbidden treat. It will be a part of their lives that they learn to respect and use appropriately.
At Alpine Fireplaces, we’re just as serious about your family’s safety and comfort as you are. Visit today to learn how we can help you create a safe but respectful environment that teaches your family good habits for life.