To think we do need the fireguard up?

(76 Posts)
TheCunnyFuntIsAGrittersWife Mon 21-Jan-13 17:32:11

Because apparently we don't hmm

We have an open fire in our living room, the hearth is brick with thick sandstone slabs laid on top. So it's pretty solid. This is our hearth. We have one of these to go around it to stop DD (19mo) getting to it. But DP always removes it and puts it in another room out of the way because he says it blocks heat getting into the room, it's a pain in the arse for putting stuff on the fire and if we're in the room then DD will be fine. This obviously is bullshit. I was sat no more than 4ft away from her the other day and she hit her head on the hearth. Luckily it wasn't hard enough to cause any damage but it did make her cry and she never cries if she falls etc.

There is also the issue of toys, DD has this ball shooter thingy, a bit like a lawnmower, you push it along and it picks up balls then you press the trigger and it shoots them out. A couple of times the balls have been fired onto the hearth, one day they'll end up in the actual fire! It's just so bloody dangerous with no fireguard there but DP just can't seem to see it! He cares more about staying warm and his convenience than keeping DD and her toys in one piece!

I'm not being unreasonable at all really am I?

No, yanbu

pollyblue Mon 21-Jan-13 17:36:45

No YANBU and your DP is being really daft.

Accidents can happen in a second, whether you are in the room or not, and the damage fire to do should never be underestimated.

If he persists, have a google for the figures relating to child deaths due to domestic fires/heaters before central heating was commonplace. It was one of the most common causes of death in under 16s.

My BIL is a fireman and would roll his eyes in despair at your DP.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 21-Jan-13 17:38:05

How on earth does a wire surround prevent heat getting to the room?

Your DH is being a dick and yanbu

SCOTCHandWRY Mon 21-Jan-13 17:41:17

YANBU, it take just a second for a child to trip and stumble onto a fire, the scars last a lifetime.

PoppyWearer Mon 21-Jan-13 17:43:00

YANBU. We have a fire guard. It does not stop the heat.

Your DP is being a complete arse.

Startail Mon 21-Jan-13 17:44:57


ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Mon 21-Jan-13 17:48:33

DP is right - fireguards are a pain in the arse, they do block the heat, they mean the fire doesn't look as nice, they are annoying when you want to put more on the fire etc agree with it all.

However, he's being a total fuckwit if he puts any of this above the safety of your DD

A trip takes a nano second, you cannot be between your DD and fire at all times, you just can't. It's not negotiable. He can move it when she goes to bed and put it back before you go to bed. She could end up in hospital for months & disfigured for life - or she might not be that 'lucky' - why does he think it's worth that risk??? Idiot.

Does he spend much time looking after her on his own? Does he actually have any idea how quick they are and how quickly accidents happen?

blackeyedsusan Mon 21-Jan-13 17:49:16

poppy has it...yanbu

TeaTowelQueen Mon 21-Jan-13 17:50:05

Erm, no YANBU, we have a BabyDan fire guard around our wood burner (it has a gate in it) and my DS is nearly 5 - I am still no where near thinking we don't need it any more! One trip and he or any of his friends visiting could be scarred for life - and it doesn't stop the heat

TheCunnyFuntIsAGrittersWife Mon 21-Jan-13 18:00:03

No, thankfully he doesn't have her much on his own.

I nipped out to the shop this afternoon and when I left, the fire guard was up, when I came back it had gone hmm I was only out 20 minutes!

He didn't ever want to get one in the first place but I insisted. DD unfortunately takes after me and seems to be a bit of a clutz, she's always not looking where she's going and tripping over toys on the floor. I shudder when I think what could happen when she trips in the wrong direction.

DrHolmes Mon 21-Jan-13 18:15:07

We have an open fire. I live with my DP and his parents. I put the fire guard up, they take it down. I have come into the living room so many times with wood popping and sparking flying onto the rug in front of the fire. Just yesterday I had to stamp out a bit of wood that was smouldering away on the rug. So i keep telling them "do not take the fire guard away". I mean it is their house so if it goes up in smoke it is their loss. Pretty sad for basic health and safety. Your DP will be sorry if when his house goes up in flames.

PurpleStorm Mon 21-Jan-13 19:19:11


Accidents can happen very quickly, and a 19 month old toddler won't understand about why she's not meant to be going near the fireplace. Just being in the same room isn't enough to guarantee no accidents. Even if you or your DH are close enough to your DD to grab her at all times, you still couldn't guarantee that she'd never trip and fall on the fire.

And I don't think fireguards make that much difference to heat output. PIL's have a woodburning stove, fireguard always on except when DS is in his cot, and I've not noticed any difference in heat. It is a pain in the arse moving it back and forth when putting logs in, but that's unimportant compared to the risks to DS if the fireguard was left off (he's 17 months).

PoppyWearer Mon 21-Jan-13 19:23:12

Ours is the same as yours and screwed into the wall. Could you do this or ask someone to do it for you?

CelticPromise Mon 21-Jan-13 19:26:26

YADNBU. We have a wood burner and a 3yo DS. I would NEVER light it without the fire guard (we've got the BabyDan one with a gate too).

There was an episode of 24 Hours in A&E featuring a little girl who had set her clothes on fire going too close, maybe you should see if you can find it for H. He's being ridiculous.

pollyblue Mon 21-Jan-13 19:32:29

IIRC a young girl died just recently after her dress brushed against a gas fire.

So as soon as your back is turned he takes it down?

thekidsrule Mon 21-Jan-13 19:51:21

ive a "real effect" gas fire and still put a guard up when my six year old is about

dosent bear thinking about


why would anybody risk it


Take him on a trip to a peadiatric A&E and the burns unit.

There is barely anything more painful as a deep burn and nothing damages self esteem as much as lifelong scarring.

It is an accident that is so easily preventable.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 21-Jan-13 20:43:47

I don't even light our fire when the children are about because it scares me. YADNBU.

oldraver Mon 21-Jan-13 21:41:20

This is somehting I would go apeshit over.... there are some 'child safety devices'/measures which are up to the individual some people can think are OTT (as in to some people thyeb are important to others not)

For me two things are non seats and guards on fires/stoves. I would be having serious words with him

HeadFairy Mon 21-Jan-13 21:52:22

yanbu, my dcs know the fire guard is always up when the fire's lit (I do occasionally take it down when they're in bed, but not often) All it takes is one ember to jump out on to the rug and you've got the start of a fire.

Booboostoo Mon 21-Jan-13 22:01:38

YANBatallU. Your DP is being very irresponsible. DD is also 20mo and trips all over the place, there is no way we can predict when she might fall or anyway to stop her when she does so the we have a guard all the way around the entire corner of the wood burner.

mercibucket Mon 21-Jan-13 22:07:49

I'd be going ballistic

There was a little girl died last month after her clothes caught fire. Show him that story. Very very sad.

Procrastinating Mon 21-Jan-13 22:08:31

My fire guard is never, ever down.
My dd likes to dress up in nylon fairy dresses, it is bloody terrifying to think of a spark getting onto one of those.

apostropheuse Mon 21-Jan-13 22:10:08

Your DH is being an irresponsible arse. Not only is there a risk of your child falling into the fire, or cracking her head on the hearth, but there is also a risk of things sparking or falling out of the fire.

I remember years ago when I had an open coal fire walking into the living room and seeing a pile of burning embers on the hearth, luckily enough being contained by the fireguard. I kid you not, there was literally a pile of them that had to be shovelled back into the fire. To this day I have no idea how it happened, perhaps a draft or somethig, but it was quite frightening. If the guard hadn't stopped them there would have been a fire.

I currently have a fireguard round my flame effect open gas fire. The fire is never used, but the marble hearth could certainly cause damage were a child to fall onto it.

I grew up in a mining village and obviously everyone had open coal fires then. I can tell you that I know several people who were accidentally burned - clothing caught alight, tripped etc. It's not nice to deal with those scars.

greenpostit Mon 21-Jan-13 22:13:30

Yanbu. I have the baby dan fire guard attached to the wall. My dc are 4 and 6. We need it - it takes no heat, it has a gate in it, a child cannot move it. They can't hit their head on the hearth and they can't fall into/catch clothes int the fire. They would never touch the fire if the guard wasn't there, but they could have an accident. I see no reason to get rid of it any time soon - have you seem a 6 and 4yo chase each other?!

MumVsKids Mon 21-Jan-13 22:13:38
piprabbit Mon 21-Jan-13 22:15:52

Introduce your DH to the notoriously complex concept of "holes". They are the large gaps between the wire of the fire guard, through which air can travel. If the fire is on then the hot air will travel through the "holes" and warm the air on the other side of the fire guard.

Now comes the tricky bit, he'll need to concentrate now but I'm sure he's up to the job if he just persists. While the "holes" are too big to stop the hot air leaking out, they are too small to allow your DD to get near the fire. This means that your DD cannot come into contact with the fire. This is a good thing. Fire can maim and burn people. Adults can take responsibility for staying away from fire for themselves, but children need to be protected.

I hope this clarifies things for your DH. Now he knows how the "holes" work, I'm sure he'll be happy to use the fire guard to protect your DD.

mum2bubble Mon 21-Jan-13 22:29:04

YANBU - we have a woodburner and use a babydan guard and our dd is 7. We have used it to protect from the hearth just as much as the fire.

sukysue Mon 21-Jan-13 23:05:15

How can he risk your dd's health by doing this . There again he obviously knows best! Wanker.

I tripped into a gas fire, well it was one of those fake fires with the yellow/orange/red glass coals (very 80's) when I was 6, I still have the scar on my hand I am 27 now btw.

I dread to think what would have happened if it was an open fire. YANBU.

smornintime Mon 21-Jan-13 23:17:41

YANBU. Ridiculous thing to do. Does he think the same about a stair gate, out of curiosity?

Oh and I remember the blisters on my hand sad

missingmumxox Mon 21-Jan-13 23:44:33

do you need a real fire? if so a guard is the only way to go children or no children.
google turned up this and yes the child who died recently, if all else fails get your local fire service to do a home safety visit whilst he is at home they will put him right.
I had one and got a couple of free alarms and some good advice.
he sounds a twat on this subject btw

Bunbaker Mon 21-Jan-13 23:50:04

I second the idea of a home safety visit from the fire service. It doesn't cost anything.

TheCraicDealer Tue 22-Jan-13 00:00:00

Aye and hearing this stuff from a fireman might the shitters up him enough to leave it where it is.

Or tell him he can only have the fire on when DD is in bed if he refuses to use the guard. The more you think about it the more unbelievable his attitude is.

bedmonster Tue 22-Jan-13 00:00:07

Shit yanbu. We are really quite lax when it comes to child safety, never had stair gates, door locks, window locks (upstairs windows only have top opening little flap things anyway) or any of that carry on, but would never light the fire without the guard.
It does block out some (a very small amount) of the heat, it doesn't look as attractive, it is a pita when putting more logs on, but ultimately it is there for safety. Fire really can be life or death. Your Dp needs to do some research.

YANBU. DD was about that age when she walked up and touched a friend's wood burning stove. We all saw it happen, but couldn't reach her quick enough to stop her. We were all very lucky that she had two small burns on her fingers which healed without scars. She could have tripped and landed with her face against it. She could have put her whole hand on it. My blood runs cold just thinking about that small, totally avoidable accident and how much worse it could have been. An open fire is probably worse.

Yfronts Tue 22-Jan-13 00:08:08

you are totally in the right. It will be too late to do anything if your DD gets burnt or causes a fire.

louisianablue2000 Tue 22-Jan-13 00:14:58

YANBU. Like a PP we haven't childproofed our house at all (despite having three children under five) but would never light the fire in the dining room without the guard in front of it. Sadly some people do not understand the danger. The ILs were with us for Christmas and they repeatedly made comments about the 'excessive' fireguard we had, inbetween telling the story of niece2 burning herself on the fire at the PILs house. The connection was not made. Sigh.

frogspoon Tue 22-Jan-13 00:15:32

This was on 24 hours in A&E last year:
(Warning, v distressing video)


MrsMushroom Tue 22-Jan-13 00:18:13

Get your foot down. Tell him if he removes it again, you'll chuck a bucket of water on the fire.

Do it.

IfYouCanMoveItItsNotBroken Tue 22-Jan-13 00:21:56

I have an open fire too. I never believed a fire guard could actually stop heat escaping from the fire until we bought one of those ones with tiny holes that stop sparks when you first light it. It really does stop the heat getting into the room. But we always use it together with the bigger one like yours which is bolted to the wall. Which does not block any heat whatsoever. I tend to only burn coal as it doesn't spark like wood and only keep the smaller one on for the first 5 minutes after lighting. We would not use a coal fire without the guard. Ever. And I would be fucking livid to come home and find it down. Saying that, I have absolutely no advice to give you as to how to make your husband see sense.

TheCunnyFuntIsAGrittersWife Tue 22-Jan-13 00:27:45

No strangely enough confused we have stair gates on the bottom of the stairs, one at the top of the landing and one on the kitchen.

grin Pip, thank you for that wonderful tutorial grin

vicarlady Tue 22-Jan-13 00:58:51

I think there must be a fireguard on an open fire when there is a child under 12 in the room (7 in Scotland). It's an old Act - 1908 Children's Act - but still in force as far as I know.

TheCunnyFuntIsAGrittersWife Tue 22-Jan-13 09:02:37

I would love the Baby Dan one, it looks great! I think if we had that there wouldn't be a problem but we can't afford one.

The guard is fastened to the wall, it never used to be but as soon as DD started pulling herself up on furniture etc I made DP drill the holes and fasten it up.

pollyblue Tue 22-Jan-13 11:22:37

I'd second the advice to have a fire safety visit from your local fire station. My BIL does these frequently - they can give (and fit) free smoke alarms if required, advise on general fire safety and certainly have a Stern Word with your DH.

Perhaps if he hears if from someone official he will take it seriously. But i'm still grrr on your behalf that he ignores your (very valid) concerns.

valiumredhead Tue 22-Jan-13 11:30:00

chipping is right.

How do they block heat though?

KobayashiMaru Tue 22-Jan-13 12:48:25


They most certainly do block some of the heat though, its obvious when you are sitting in front of it, the difference in heat between fireguard on and off is large.
The metal absorbs a lot of the heat and blocks the air flow,, only some gets through. It does depend on the type of guard though, ours is like this

shrinkingnora Tue 22-Jan-13 12:57:06

PM me and if you are anywhere near you can have my baby dan one on long term loan.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 22-Jan-13 12:57:41

Kobay that's not a fire guard that's a spark guard to stop,well sparks landing on the floor.

A very useful bit of kit.

KobayashiMaru Tue 22-Jan-13 13:42:49

It's been known as a fire guard my whole life anyway, and thats what everyone I know calls it!

TheCunnyFuntIsAGrittersWife Tue 22-Jan-13 14:31:52

Kobyashi we have one of those aswell, we call it a fireguard too smile

I am in Lincolnshire.

snowybrrr Tue 22-Jan-13 14:38:55

YANBU I have a friend who fell on a fire as a child and the fingers in his hand fused together and only the thumb works alone.He has never forgiven hos parents.
I can't see your picture Op , but we have an open coal fire and still use a small fireguard even though the youngest is 6 and I will probably continue to do if anyone is walking about always, because even an adult can trip.When everyone is sitting down watching TV in the evening I might take it down.Also there is the danger of exploding things on the fire like a gassy bit of coal or once we had a watch battery in a bag of coal which exploded hot metal across the room!

TheCunnyFuntIsAGrittersWife Tue 22-Jan-13 14:39:05

Sorry I didn't mean to post so soon!

Shrinking I am in Lincolnshire, I can't pm as I'm on my phone and I can only reply to pms, if you are anywhere near that would be lovely of you smile

CelticPromise Tue 22-Jan-13 14:41:15

CunnyFunt I got my BabyDan one from eBay, worth a look if shrinking is nowhere near?

shrinkingnora Tue 22-Jan-13 14:42:39

Bugger. Never mind. I am thwarted in my good deed. Hope you get it sorted. Really think your DH is being a bit of a twat.

Floggingmolly Tue 22-Jan-13 14:43:05

That hearth itself is a danger to a toddler charging about, with or without a live fire in the grate. Insist on the fire guard until she's ten

5madthings Tue 22-Jan-13 14:53:21

I am fairly lax when it comes to some 'safety' stuff is drawer licks and stair gates but afire guard is something I would never be lax on, just not worth the risk at all!

We had a coal fire when I was a child and I can still remember the massive fireguard my parents used.

Get your local fire safety officer round or maybe your dh could go on a little trip to a burns unit to give him an insight into what could happen to his daughter.

Goldmandra Tue 22-Jan-13 14:57:19

Fireguards don't look nice and they are a pain to use, especially when you have to keep moving it to put logs or coal on the fire. It's a shame to have to keep using it when it looks and feels so much nicer without it.

On the other hand you have a beautiful DD who is even nicer to have than any fire place. It would take one second, just ONE SECOND, for her to run towards it, trip and end up face down in it. Has your DH even tried to imagine that scenario? His beautiful DD face down in a pile of burning coals? Being in the same room doesn't enable anyone to prevent that unless they are literally sitting next to the fire with their arms out across it.

In a few years your DH will be able to enjoy the fire without the fire guard. Or, alternatively, he could still be looking at his DD's scarred face and regretting the day he put the aesthetics of the room above the safety of his daughter. That's if he was lucky enough to still have a daughter.

DandyDan Tue 22-Jan-13 15:48:06

Use the fireguard. Seriously, virtually all of the heat will come through but your daughter will be safe, which is the most important thing.

We used both a fireguard hooked onto the wall and a sparkguard when our kids were small - once they were over five, we just had the spark-guard but never left them alone in the room with the open fire even so, until they were older still.

CreamOfTomatoSoup Tue 22-Jan-13 16:49:40


you have a nice dog.

specialsubject Tue 22-Jan-13 16:56:13

spark and fire guard does dissipate the heat a bit, but:

- so what if it does, with a child in the house? If she falls into it, or a spark hits her clothes, she will be scarred or dead.
- an open fire is 60% less efficient than a stove, so you are wasting lots of heat anyway. Of course you need a guard even with a stove; ok, they can't fall into it but they can trip and fall against it. Put up the guard and all they hit is a cold metal surface.

fireguard UP and fixed until she is about 10. End of.

TheCunnyFuntIsAGrittersWife Tue 22-Jan-13 17:45:22

Thank you Cream smile he is rather lovely even if I do say so myself wink

Well the fireguard is up, and has stayed up all day confused

<wonders if DP is a secret MN lurker and he hasn't told me>

PessaryPam Tue 22-Jan-13 18:00:42

One more here in the YADNBU camp. Your DP needs to grow up. It only takes a few seconds and then you have a scarred child or worse.

TeaOneSugar Tue 22-Jan-13 18:30:04

The fire aside, my DNiece hit her head on PIL marble hearth and had a nasty cut and a massive lump, and was lucky she didn't catch her eye.

I wouldn't be able to settle without the fire and hearth behind bars.

TheFunPolice Tue 22-Jan-13 22:55:42

Did you watch the last series of 24 hours in a&e with the little girl who was burnt and her father. Search for it and make your DP watch it, then see if he thinks it's too much hassle.

StuntGirl Wed 23-Jan-13 01:48:01

YADNBU and your husband is a bit of a twat if he can't see that.

ArtsMumma Wed 23-Jan-13 07:56:33


There is no room for debate on this, you have to insist on the guard being up. Tell him how important it is to you in a very serious way, I mean sit him down and tell him it terrifies you. Let him see how important it is to you and he cannot ignore it. Good Luck!

Hello -not been on for AGEs!! but I wanted to login to tell you what happened to us.

My DH is exactly the same moves the fire guard 2 years ago he did this and then left the room. My then two year old decided to copy daddy and put some newspaper in the fire.

My two year old put a big section of newspaper in and then wandered back to his toys holding the paper, he dropped it and we were very very lucky at the worse damage we had was having to replace the carpet in the front room.

My DH puts the fire guard up now, BUT it could of been much worse.

Aside from that our fire splits out so the guard reduces the fire risk.

Twattybollocks Wed 23-Jan-13 09:10:37

Yanbu. If it wasn't a real flame fire, then corner protectors on the hearth would probably be ok, but with any sort of real flame a fire guard is an absolute must. Even if you are in the room you wouldn't be able to react quick enough to stop serious burns.

TheCunnyFuntIsAGrittersWife Wed 23-Jan-13 11:33:57

Goingup that is terrifying. All of these stories are. Next time he moves I'll have to show him this thread, 3 pages of posters agreeing with me might show him he is being a dick.

EldritchCleavage Wed 23-Jan-13 12:48:48

Can't believe your DH. Practically the first thing my aunt did when she found out I was pregnant was ask my mother if I wanted the nursery fireguard that had done the rounds of the whole family! They are an absolute necessity with small children.

Would he leave knives lying around near DD? Not much different in terms of danger to my mind.

PippinWoo Wed 23-Jan-13 13:13:20

I urge you to get him to watch the episode of 24 Hours In A & E that frogspoon linked to.

If that doesn't convince him of the utter incredible pain and suffering your DD would have to endure if anything happened, then I'd recommend getting rid of the open fire and having a radiator put in, ending the argument once and for all.

PippinWoo Wed 23-Jan-13 13:17:37

In fact if you can find the full episode somewhere, try and see that. I think they are repeating the series on More 4 at the moment.

Just ran this one past DP, and he reckons your DH is being stupid. "It'll be more inconvenient to him having to stay in hospital for 6 months while the child is recovering from burns". quote from DP grin

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