The recent birth of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge has got the whole nation thinking about babies once again. Though the wave of anticipation wasn’t quite as manic as the one that awaited the birth of her brother, Prince George of Cambridge, it seemed for weeks afterwards, there were baby stories everywhere!
Which got us thinking – if you look at them objectively, which fireplace is best suited for a house with young children? All fireplace offer something unique, which is why we love them so much, but surely if you looks at all of their components, one would stand head and shoulders above the rest in the “kid-proof” category.
So we have compiled a list of the facts, in hopes of selecting which type of fireplace is the ideal pick for houses with small children.
Pro: No flames.
The lack of an open flame is a big plus for the electric fireplace. Because its heat comes from heated metal coils buried deep inside, the chance of flames getting out of control are 0.
Con: No instinctive warning.
The lack of a flame is also a problem, however. From a very young age, children will learn to be wary of flames. Without one, an instinct to “not touch” may be lacking, so they could end up burning themselves.
The electric fireplace or stove has a lot going for it. The lack of a true fire removes a lot of problems from the equation. Plus, with correct warning or precautions, the kids can be taught not to touch the hotter parts of the fireplace (or touch the fireplace at all).
Pro: Easy to control flames.
Gas fires come with controls that allow you to dictate the height and intensity of the flames contained within. This will allow you to set the flames quite low if a child is in the area. Those with a remote control for the fire will enjoy even greater control.
Con: Open flames
While all the gas fireplaces we sell have them, some gas fires may lack a screen in front of them, meaning the flames aren’t covered. Curious hands may try to get close to the flames, or stray objects may wind up inside the fireplace.
Again, with proper safety precautions, a gas fireplace is perfectly safe. The benefit of the open flames aids with the instinctual self-preservation, and the vast majority of gas fireplaces will include some type of cover over the flames.
Pro: Lockable door
All stoves come with a door, usually with a lockable handle. If you keep the key hidden away or on your person, there is no chance that the child can come into contact with the open flames.
Con: Hardest to control
As you are allowing for a natural fire within your stove, your level of control is decreased. This isn’t dangerous at all – you just have less outside control (i.e. you can unplug or remotely put out the flames) over the flames than you would have with the other types of fireplaces.
Modern stoves are perfectly safe to operate, so despite your fractionally reduced control over the flames, they are still a viable option. They just require a little more attention than the other two.
Overall, this is a closer race than anticipated. With correct supervision, all three types are perfectly fine to have around children. But if you were to be extra cautious, the electric fireplace offers the best overall package for families with young kids. The outside controls and lack of flame are great aspects, and the problem of children touching it can be removed by installing a fire guard.