As a parent, you will do just about anything to protect your children from hurting themselves. However, it can be a challenge to keep young kids away from the dangerously hot glass in front of gas fireplaces. Fortunately, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has worked with the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association (HPBA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to work with gas fireplace manufacturers to solve this problem. As of January 1, 2015, all new gas fireplaces will be equipped with protective screens to prevent children from accidental burns. Safety is a main concern at The Mad Hatter, and we would like to tell you more about this recent update as well as what you can do if you have an older gas fireplace installed in your home.
What sparked the HPBA to take action and work with the gas fireplace manufacturing industry?
According to the USA Today article, “Gas Fireplaces to Get Screens to Prevent Burns,” the HPBA conducted a survey in 2012 and found that 11 million homes have gas fireplaces; however, approximately 6 million of these homeowners had no idea of the burn risk from glass fireplace doors. In the mid-2000’s when cases of children under 5 becoming severely burned from these doors began to rise to around 200 children a year, the HPBA ran a nationwide safety campaign in 2007 to warn homeowners of this risk.
What persuaded the gas fireplace manufacturing industry to voluntarily adopt the rule of adding protective screens to the glass fireplace doors?
In May 2011, safety consultant Carol Pollack-Nelson filed a petition with the CPSC to require the gas fireplace industry to protect consumers from the hot glass. She gave the gas fireplace industry rule making committee a letter the year before detailing injury data, which included serious third degree burn cases. After waiting for the industry to do something for a year, she decided to take the issue to the CPSC.
What about homeowners who have an older gas fireplace without protective screens?
Gas fireplace manufacturers began making retrofit screens for consumers to purchase long before January 2015. The HPBA recommends homeowners should contact the manufacturer of their gas fireplace to find out if they have made a screen that will fit your fireplace model.If they have not, the manufacturer can tell you another brand of screen that will fit your particular fireplace. The Mad Hatter can also recommend and install a protective screen in front of your gas fireplace’s glass doors. We can even custom-make a screen to fit your fireplace if we cannot find a screen to properly cover the glass doors.
Do you have a gas fireplace in your home that needs a protective screen? Contact The Mad Hatter today to ask us about which screen you should have installed to protect your kids from getting seriously burned.