Fireplaces are always a wonderful addition to a family’s living room. Along with providing comfort and warmth, fireplaces are often the center of many lovely childhood memories. Kids will remember being read bedtime stories by the amber light, snuggled together in that old stuffed armchair. Or they’ll recall all the times they came running back inside from a playful snowball fight and warmed their little cold hands from the gentle radiating heat. Whether it’s wood, gas, or electric, a host of good times await for you and your family with a new fireplace! However, just like with pools, there are some safety precautions to take, especially when it comes to your kids asking to light the fireplace. And that time will come! Use these precautions as an opportunity to teach your kids how to light a fireplace safely.
Adult Supervision with Fireplaces and Kids
As your kids grow older, they may express an interest in learning how to light your fireplace themselves. What a wonderful bonding moment for you both! Your child will learn a new life skill, and you’ll get to watch them grow into a more independent person. No matter if you’re lighting a wood, gas, or electric fireplace, though, reiterate that adult supervision is a must! And always demonstrate a few times before you let them attempt to light the fireplace themselves.
Safely Light a Wood Fireplace
It is best to wait until your kids are a bit older before you let them actually handle lighting a wood fireplace. However, definitely encourage them to watch you light the fire, even from a young age. Go over the steps each time and ask them questions like, “Okay, what do I do next? Do you remember?” Always reiterate safety rules, too, and ask them to repeat them often. There’s also some safe tasks that your child can help you perform with supervision. Helping to carry a small log or two inside from the porch, for example. Kids may think that this is a chore, but remind them that it’s an essential part of lighting a wood fire. You can’t build a fire without packing wood, right?
Safely Light a Gas Fireplace
Trying to light a gas fireplace should definitely wait until your child is a little older, especially when you’re lighting the pilot. However, you can still follow similar steps to show them how to do so as you would with a wood fireplace. Have them observe you as you light the pilot, asking questions along the way. “What do I do after I’ve turned the knob to ‘pilot’? How do I adjust the flame once it’s lit?” When you feel confident that they have learned all of the steps by heart – and when they are old enough – only then let them attempt to light the gas fireplace as you supervise. This is an especially useful lesson for when they will have to light pilots for other appliances, such as water heaters.
Safely Light a Electric Fireplace
While electric fireplaces are easier to light than wood and even gas, there is still a level of caution you must take when it comes to children. Many kids think that the simple push of a button makes an electric fireplace a fun new toy. Go over how turning on the fireplace is not the same as turning on the television or a tablet. An electric fireplace is a source of heat first and foremost, not entertainment. Along with going over how to turn it on, be sure to show them how to turn it off, as well. Keep the remote out of reach at all times. Establish the rule that they must always ask for permission to turn it on, that way you can supervise them both when they light it and when they turn it off.
Teach your children the valuable lesson of how to safely light a fireplace! It will be just as cherished a memory as all the snuggles and warmth by a cozy fire, too. Ready for a new fireplace for your home and family? Come Find Your Gathering Place at Energy Center-Manhattan Pool.