The warmth, the gentle glow, the sound of crackling wood—it’s almost fireplace season again. If you have one in your home, it certainly makes the winter chill more bearable.
However, practicing proper fireplace safety is critical, especially if you have young kids. According to the Stanford Children’s Hospital, 20% of the children hospitalized for a burn injury are there due to contact burns.
Fireplace glass gets hot, but is it safe for children, and how can you protect little ones and yourself in your home? Find out how to safely handle fireplace glass, tips for preventing injuries, and more in this guide.
The Purpose of Fireplace Glass
The majority of wood-burning fireplaces use tempered glass. Due to being heat-treated and rapidly cooled, tempered glass is much harder and stronger than regular glass.
Another benefit of tempered glass is that if it shatters, it breaks into much smaller, rounded pieces. Traditional or untreated glass breaks into rough, jagged shards. You can often hear tempered glass referred to as safety glass due to its properties.
When it comes to fireplaces, tempered glass is particularly useful due to its resistance to high temperatures.
Heat-resistant ceramic glass is often used on heating stoves and gas fireplaces. It has a high thermal shock resistance, and it’s even stronger than tempered glass.
Ceramic glass isn’t truly glass but a clear type of ceramic. It’s more expensive than tempered glass, but it also withstands high heat better and can last for a lifetime.
Fireplace glass doors play an important role in safety.
Contains Hot Ashes
Approximately two in five residential heating equipment fires are due to equipment that uses a solid fuel source, such as wood-burning fireplaces. Hot ashes from the fireplace can catch nearby flammable materials on fire if not contained.
A moment is all it takes for ash to catch carpet, curtain, or other flammable materials on fire. This can be exceptionally dangerous if the fireplace is left unattended.
Installing glass doors for a fireplace ensures you can enjoy the beauty and warmth of a high-quality product without worrying about stray embers or ashes.
Prevents Access to the Fire
Fireplace glass doors prevent curious toddlers and pets from getting too close to the fire and potentially burning themselves.
Burns and fires account for 3,500 child and adult deaths every year. It’s the fifth most common accidental death among adults and kids.
The introduction of the glass door helped significantly improve fireplace safety. It blocks young children and pets from getting too close to the fire, drawn by the flames or the warmth.
Ideal for Wood-Burning Fireplaces
Wood-burning fireplaces rely on logs as their fuel source, which creates a lovely crackling sound and a wonderful scent. However, there’s always a chance that the logs can roll out of the fireplace and onto the floor. This can be hazardous for many reasons.
For one, it can catch nearby materials on fire, such as the carpet. Toddlers and pets may also come into contact with the burning log, which can cause severe injuries.
Our first instinct is often to toss the log back in, but we must practice fire safety at this point. Of course, never touch a burning log with your bare hands. Even with gloves, it can be too hot to touch. Use a log grabber tool to place it back in the fireplace and quickly extinguish any embers and ashes.
Glass doors for the fireplace prevent logs from rolling out in the first place, keeping our homes and families safer.
Glass Fireplace Doors Safety Tips
Although fireplace glass helps to keep people and pets away and to reduce the risk of flammable materials catching on fire, there are still some safety tips you should follow. Follow these additional tips to reduce the risk of injury.
Use a Fireplace Gate
A fireplace gate or screen prevents kids and pets from getting too close in the first place. It goes around the entire fireplace and blocks access. Using one prevents young children from burning themselves or opening the fireplace doors.
Using a fireplace gate doesn’t need to ruin your home’s aesthetic, either. There are many decorative styles that keep toddlers away while still allowing you to enjoy the beauty of your fireplace.
Don’t Leave Children Unattended
Whether wood burning or gas, you don’t want to leave children unattended near a fireplace. Children are naturally curious and can easily burn themselves on the glass.
Of course, you should always talk to them about fireplace safety and not to touch the fireplace, but it’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your young ones.
This becomes especially important around the holidays or if you have any guests over at your home. Not all children are aware of the dangers of a fireplace. This is another reason a fireplace gate makes a good investment.
When Can You Touch a Fireplace Door?
After you turn the fire off, you might be wondering when it’s safe to touch the glass again. The truth is that it takes longer than you think for that surface to cool down.
It only takes about six minutes for the glass on a gas fireplace to heat up to more than 200°F.
Additionally, it takes around 45 minutes for the glass around the fireplace to cool after it’s off. That’s far longer than many people realize, so be sure to keep kids away from the glass for at least that long after the fire goes out.
Enjoy Your Fireplace Safely This Season
We love our fireplaces, but it’s critical to keep ourselves and our little ones safe when the fires are lit. Fireplace glass can prevent injuries and costly property damage. Be sure to practice these safety tips to enjoy your fireplace all season long while maintaining your peace of mind.
If you’re interested in installing a new fireplace or upgrading the one you have, stop by our showroom or contact us today to learn more about our many options.