Glass doors on fireplaces can reach a broiling hot temperature of 500 degrees — and the doors can stay hot long after the gas fireplace has been turned off. That’s a painful lesson learned by more than 2,000 children under the age of 5 since 2009. Toddlers are especially vulnerable to glass fireplace burns and emergency rooms see a parade of these burns every winter. About 11 million U.S. homes have gas fireplaces.
Fireplace manufacturers have agreed to voluntarily add screens to the glass doors by January 2015 to prevent serious burns to children. Companies are stepping up production of screens that can be purchased separately long before that time.
They are also trying to get retrofits ready so consumers can get them to protect kids now, says a Consumer Product Safety Commission spokesman. It’s a great example of how companies can address safety issues outside of federal rule making.