Fire is fire no matter what, and guess what? It’s hot. And hot things can burn people, especially little kids who don’t know any better and just want to get close to the pretty pretty flames. Federal regulators are now putting the screws to fireplace manufacturers to get them to add screens to the glass doors of gas fireplaces so as to prevent children getting burned.
It’s estimated that around 200 kids 5 and younger are seriously harmed by gas fireplaces every year, reports USA Today. The glass doors on the fireplaces can stay hot for a long time after the actual fire is out, presenting quite a burn risk.
The voluntary rule will go into effect in January 2015 but there are companies who are working on pushing out new screens that can be purchased for existing fireplaces before that time.
“They are trying to work on getting retrofits ready so consumers this cold season can go get the retrofit to protect kids now,” says aConsumer Product Safety Commission spokesman.
The screens could make a big difference, as about 11 million U.S. homes have gas fireplaces, according to a spokeswoman for the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association. Despite that large number of homeowners with gas fireplaces, 6 million of them were unaware of the doors’ burn risks, said a recent survey by the association.
If you have a gas fireplace, contact its manufacturer and ask if there’s a screen available for sale to fit the fireplace, or if the company has a recommendation for another manufacturer that could provide one.
Gas fireplaces to get screens to prevent burns [USA Today]