Children and open flames: this is how the stove is safe

As a father she stands your family’s safety primarily. When you use a stove you should not ignore the relevant safety precautions. When it’s time to light the fireplace, the question arises, how to operate the oven safelywhen you have children. We give you answers and show you here what is important when it comes to chimney fuses in the home:

Safely by the fireplace with a child, photo: galitskaya, bigstockphoto

fire education: talk to your child

Depending on how old your child is, it helps to explain the stove to them. Children cannot assess the danger and consequences of fire and heat. In addition, they feel safe because they trust you and your arrangements. Don’t just explain to your child what a wood stove is, but involve them in the action.

  • Collect and stack firewood
  • let it see you light the fireplace
  • help with model selection

Keep reminding your child gently but firmly that the fire and stove are hot. With these repetitions, your child will soon internalize not to touch the stove.

If your child is old enough, we recommend teaching practical skills. This means learning how to handle fire correctly. One day your child will become curious and at worst handle fire without any knowledge. It is better if you experience and learn such things with him. Give him the necessary knowledge such as:

  • a candle must have a solid footing
  • Light fits away from your body
  • Do not leave sources of fire alone

You can continue to use the same for the operation of the wood stove, because this knowledge is internalized.

Tip: If you do not yet own a (new) stove or would like to refresh your knowledge, you can get an “oven driver’s license”. On the online course, you learn everything about the topics general conditions, fireplace, operation and more.

Correct behavior when handling the fireplace

  • your child must not touch the oven – especially the doors
  • do not leave your child unattended near the fireplace when it is lit or burning out
  • only adults may light the fireplace and add firewood
  • Keep lighters, lighters and cutlery out of the reach of children

Tip: To illustrate the power of fire, you can light a piece of paper together with your child. With this practical example, it recognizes how quickly a small fire spreads.

Children and fireplace:
Chimney protector protects against children’s hands, photo: Sergey Novikov, bigstockphoto

Make sure to secure the fireplace out of the hands of children

Despite all the explanations, you should not forget to make your stove safe to minimize the risk of damage. There are various options for this from which you can choose a suitable one.

chimney sweep

From kindergarten age, your child can roughly estimate what fire means and what it can do. We recommend that you install a chimney screen until at least this age to keep it away from the stove. The market offers a variety of grids, which we will present to you in detail.

A chimney screen looks like a children’s door and stair gate. It gives a limited view of the fireplace, but keeps the youngsters far enough away. These models come in two variants. Choose between the mobile chimney screen for folding and storage and the fixed wall-hung screen. The latter has the advantage that your child can use it on their first steps without falling over.

Mobile chimney watch Permanent chimney sweep
· Rubber feet make it difficult to move

· Possible to be pushed aside or knocked over

· leaves no traces on the walls

Permanent installation requires a lot of effort and will leave marks on the wall

· It is not possible to push to the side or tip over

Tip: When choosing a chimney guard, make sure it is the right size, which depends on your stove. For an overview of good fireplace screens click here.

door and stairwell

If you still have a door and stair gate left, you can use this to secure your chimney. Especially if your fireplace is in a niche, this model is a cost-effective option. You don’t need to drill, because these grates have a clamping device. Be sure to leave enough space as they may not be as heat resistant as a chimney screen. You must also secure the door function, because older children quickly find out how to open the door.

Tip: Alternatively, you can squeeze it into the door of the room where the fireplace is. This blocks your child from unhindered access. But it won’t help forever once your child learns to open doors.


If your child is still small, you can put him in a playpen to leave the room for a moment. However, they do not provide security when your child is a little older or to spend hours in them, because in this case the personal bond falls by the wayside.

spark arrester grid

You should only use an open fireplace with a spark arrestor. This doesn’t just apply if you have a child! You place this grate in front of the chimney opening to prevent damage, injury and fires caused by flying sparks.

So that you don’t miss out on the view, we recommend a model made of safety or spark protection glass. They are also available in many designs, so you can “play” with them decoratively.

The properties of the protective grid at a glance

advantage Disadvantages
chimney sweep · The atmosphere in the oven is not completely lost

· very stable

· cannot be knocked over

· Keep a distance between the chimney and children

· Fixed chimney protection grilles provide assistance in pulling up

· mobile chimney guards with rubber feet are more difficult to move

· Removes the atmosphere from the stove a little

Permanent installation requires a lot of effort and will leave marks on the wall

· the mobile network can be pushed aside

door and stairwell · cheap

· Can be installed between the walls in niche fireplaces

· Can also be used to block access to the fireplace room

· leaves no traces on the walls

· not suitable for freestanding models

· limited possibilities of use

· may not be heat resistant enough

Kravegård/crawling yard · You can leave the room for a few minutes

· Provides good protection against uncontrolled walking around

· Takes up a lot of space when setting up

· the bigger your child is, the faster he can climb out

· not suitable for permanent residence

spark arrester grid
  • ideal for an open fireplace
  • prevents flying sparks in the environment
  • available in many designs
  • provides a clear view of the fire
  • can get hot, which is why a chimney screen is still necessary to protect your child

Children and fireplace – a question of responsibility

Having a child and a fireplace is a wonderful combination if you keep a few things in mind. A fireplace grate may not be the biggest visual highlight, but it protects your child from injury. If you are not sure which fireplace grate fits your model, you can take a look at the operating instructions. There you will usually not only find tips for accessories, but also information on correct operation.

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