If you’ve assumed that the warmth and coziness of a wood-burning stove isn’t an option when you have a toddler bouncing off the walls of your home, keep in mind that you don't necessarily have to give up the stove — you have options that will keep your toddler safe. By installing safety features around your wood-burning stove, you can enjoy the toasty glow of the fire without worrying about the safety of your tot.
Items you will need
- Tape measure
- Fireplace gate
- Mounting hardware
Measure the dimensions around your wood-burning stove to figure out how much gate you need to buy to go around the unit. The SafeKids website recommends a 3-foot safety zone around any kind of fireplace or other heating equipment. Measure out from the stove 3 feet with the tape measure on all sides and then measure the distance around the wood stove at the 3-foot point so you know how long the gate needs to be. If the wood stove is freestanding in the middle of the floor, go all the way around the unit. If the wood-burning stove is in a corner or against a wall, go out from the unit from wall to wall to enclose it.
Buy a fireplace gate with enough length to surround the wood-burning stove. Generally, fireplace gates come in segments that attach to each other with a swinging opening that you can position wherever you want so you have access to the stove. If the perimeter around your stove is wide, you may need to buy extensions to fit onto the segments included with the basic gate.
Position the gate where you want it around the stove, connecting the segments according to product instructions. Use the mounting hardware included in the gate to mount the gate to the walls. If possible, position the gate at the walls so you install the mounting hardware into studs in the walls for extra stability. If this is a no-go, use drywall anchors.
Close the swinging gate and latch it to keep toddlers away from the heat. Some gates have a helpful magnetic latch that pulls the gate closed after you walk through it.
- Many fireplace gates are easy to uninstall from the mounted hardware on the walls during seasons when you don’t need a fire to warm your tootsies.
- A fireplace gate may not be the prettiest living room decor you add to your home, but keeping your toddler safe from serious burns makes practicality trump beauty.
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