Keeping your child safe around a gas fireplace
Hand burns from gas fireplace glass doors are preventable.
- Never leave your child alone in the room with the fireplace when it is on or until 45 minutes after it is turned off.
- Use a fireplace screen or gate around your gas fireplace during use to keep your child away from the glass door.
- Use these safety tips when visiting other homes.
- The glass barrier of a gas fireplace door can heat up to more than 200º F in approximately 6 minutes.
- It takes an average of 45 minutes for the gas fireplace glass to cool to a safe temperature after a burning fire has been extinguished.
- Children's Hospital Colorado Burn Center has seen a 50% increase in burns of the hand from gas fireplace glass doors since 2006.
Hand Burn Basics
- Contact with the glass of gas fireplace doors can result in second or third degree burns.
- Burns of the hand can result in hand dysfunction causing long term impairment and disability.
- Treatment of burns of the hand are time intensive, costly, painful, and can require long term therapy of the hand.
Safety Tip: Remember GLASS
- "G" for Gate: Place a gate or screen around the gas fireplace glass doors to provide a barrier between your child and the fireplace doors.
- "L" for Look: Look where your child is while the gas fireplace is on.
- "A" for Aware: Be aware that the glass of a gas fireplace door can heat up to more than 200°F in approximately six minutes.
- "S" for Switch: Make sure the on/off switch is not in reach of your child.
- "S" for Shut off: Once the fuel source to a gas fireplace is shut off it takes an average of 45 minutes for gas fireplace glass
Follow these steps when treating any minor burn:
- Remove ALL clothing and jewelry.
- Run cool water over the burn for several minutes. Do not place any home remedies including butter, ointments or ice on burned areas.
- Cover the burn with a clean bandage or clean cloth.
- Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to relieve any pain.
- Consult with your family physician if the burn does not heal in two to three days or signs of infection appear.
The American Burn Association recommends that burns of the hand be treated by a physician.