Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 5: Facilities, Supplies, Equipment, and Environmental Health

5.2 Quality of the Outdoor and Indoor Environment

5.2.1 Ventilation, Heating, Cooling, and Hot Water Fireplaces, Fireplace Inserts, and Wood/Corn Pellet Stoves

Fireplaces, fireplace inserts, and wood/corn pellet stoves should be inaccessible to children. Fireplaces, fireplace inserts, and wood/corn pellet stoves should be certified to recognized national performance standards such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for air emissions. The front opening should be equipped with a secure and stable protective safety screen. Fireplaces, fireplace inserts, and wood/corn pellet stoves should be installed in accordance with the local or regional building code and the manufacturer’s installation instructions. The facility should clean the chimney as necessary to prevent excessive build-up of burn residues or smoke products in the chimney.
Fireplaces provide access to surfaces hot enough to cause burns. Children should be kept away from fire because their clothing can easily ignite. Children should be kept away from a hot surface because they can be burned simply by touching it. Improperly maintained fireplaces, fireplace inserts, wood/corn pellet stoves, and chimneys can lead to fire and accumulation of toxic fumes.

A protective safety screen over the front opening of a fireplace will contain sparks and reduce a child’s accessibility to an open flame.

Heating equipment is the second leading cause of ignition of fatal house fires (1). This equipment can become very hot when in use, potentially causing significant burns.

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Gas, Oil, or Kerosene Heaters, Generators, Portable Gas Stoves, and Charcoal and Gas Grills Barriers/Guards for Heating Equipment and Units Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  1. Chowdhury, R., M. Greene, D. Miller. 2008. 2003-2005 residential fire loss estimates. Washington, DC: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.