How to Childproof (and Pet Proof) Your Heating System

How to Childproof Your Heating Systems

Heating systems can be a safety risk when you have small children. Children are curious and may start exploring registers, radiators, electrical outlets and other heating system components. Since we are in the middle of heating season, be aware of the potential danger your heating system may pose and consider these tips to childproof your home heating system.

Secure your floor vents

If your heating system uses floor vents and registers, you need to consider securing them from your children. Although a necessary component of your heating system, registers emit hot air that can make them hot to touch. Plus, they seem to attract small objects. Things you can do to make them safer:

  • Put a layer of chicken wire, mesh netting or window screen underneath the vent covers to keep small objects out. Check the vents regularly if your kids like to hide their toys in these locations.
  • Secure the vent covers with Velcro, double-sided tape or screws if possible.
  • If your vent covers are metal, consider replacing them with plastic to prevent potential cuts and scrapes.

Block radiators and cover baseboard heaters

Radiators get hot and although they may warm your room, they could burn curious little fingers. Place a screen or other type of barrier around your radiators. Purchase or make a radiator cover that fits your appliance and blends into the aesthetics of the room. If you renter, check your lease and local regulations as landlords may be required to provide a radiator cover.

Like radiators, baseboard heaters can also get hot to the touch. Block baseboard radiators by arranging furniture so children can’t get in but the heat can still warm the room. Purchase covers that fit over the baseboard heaters to let heat out but prevent burns. 

Use a fireplace screen or gate

Safety for Children and Pets from Gas or Wood Stove

If you have a fireplace with either gas, pellets or wood logs, a secure fireplace screen can prevent children from getting too close to the fire. A baby gate or partition can also keep small children and pets at a safe distance. 

Keep thermostat out of reach

If your thermostat is installed within reaching distance of a child, they may find playing with it amusing. Unfortunately, the temperature in your home getting set to extreme highs or lows can be negative, including increased fuel bills and potential health issues that extreme heat and cold can cause. Place your thermostat high up on the wall if possible to prevent your child from reaching it.

Use plug covers for electric outlets

Although not part of your heating system, electrical outlets can cause problems for children. Outlets that are not being used can be protected using just basic outlet covers to prevent curious fingers or objects from being inserted. If you need to plug an appliance in, you can get plug covers that allow two cords to be plugged into an outlet with a cover over them. This prevents the child from being able to pull the plug out. 

Keeping your young children and pets away from the furnace is an important safety practice. But, our home heating system is one of the most critical appliance in our homes. We need to provide warmth and safety for our family. When the temperatures drop and the heating system turns on, put these safety tips into practice to ensure your home heating system is safe for both children and pets.

If you need help with getting your heating system running efficiently, contact us for a service appointment.