Safe Start Child

Hating on Hearth Gates

Rethinking Fireplace Safety

Hearth Gates are large, structured gates that encircle fireplaces. When babies begin to move, panic sets in, and many parents (and some child proofers) instinctively turn to hearth gates to fence off the fireplace. They are large, imposing, and certainly give the impression of safety. As a result, they have become a popular fireplace safety solution often featured in photos and reels on social media.

But, are they the best fit for your home?

Imagine getting a minor paper cut on your finger, and instead of applying a band aid, you wrap your whole hand in a cast. Seems like a bit much? That’s what you are likely doing when you opt for a hearth gate. It’s a dramatic solution to a problem that often requires less invasive measures.

The Cons

Not Stylish or Cozy – These gates look like baby fences, imposing on a home’s chosen style and decor (unless the interior design style is daycare chic).

Bulky – They’re certainly not discreet! These gates take up so much room, you might as well reserve a zip code for them.

Expensive – They cost $200-$400. That’s not pocket change!

Impractical – Unless you are hosting nightly bonfires in your living room, you probably don’t need one.

No Room for Shortcuts – Hearth Gates might seem like an easy solution, but a well-thought-out safety plan doesn’t usually include taking the easy way out. When kids get older and more adventurous, simple barriers become less effective; so the hearth gate has a shorter shelf life than most gates.

Smarter Alternatives

Securing the Fireplace Screen – Have an existing fireplace screen? We can discreetly tether it to your hearth using Hangman Straps. It’s a simple, yet effective solution that maintain’s the room’s aesthetic while still allowing you (not your little one) access to your fireplace, as needed. And, it’s significantly less expensive than a hearth gate.

Plexiglass – If you never use your fireplace, consider a Plexiglass Cover. It’s less intrusive and turns your fireplace into a beautiful glass case. Learn more about purchasing & installing custom-cut plexiglass in our Safety Resources.

Fireplace Door Lock – If you’ve got fireplace doors, a Dual Flex Lock or Sliding Lock can secure them without fuss.

Fireplace Door Guard – The Fireplace Door Guard is another excellent solution for your hearth doors. It discreetly secures them when the handles are too far apart for a twin loop lock.

Hearth Padding – For homes with a raised hearth, fire-resistant Hearth Padding cushions any corners and edges made of stone or brick.

When is a Hearth Gate Justified?

A hearth gate makes sense if you’re planning on regular family gatherings around a live fire. But, let’s be honest, how often is that happening?

Before you invest in a bulky, costly hearth gate, take a moment to evaluate your needs. There are smarter, more efficient ways to ensure safety without compromising the comfort and style of your home. Child proofing should improve your family life, not impede it.

With Expertise and Care, Alisa