Are Baseboard Heaters Safe Around Children?
One of the frequent questions we get comes from parents wanting to know if our baseboard covers are child-safe. Although our baseboard covers were developed to primarily address the need of making baseboard heaters look a whole lot nicer, the one-piece design has proven to also be an effective way of keeping flammable toys and small fingers away from the heating element. When it comes to safety, not all baseboard heaters are created equally. Hot water baseboard heaters operate at relatively lower temperatures and don't exhibit the wide-open cover design that electrical heaters do. When baseboard heaters make the news for all the wrong reasons, it usually involves an electric heater burning something it shouldn't.
My baseboard radiators get really hot. Where can I find a cover that will not get so hot?
Convection air current heating (such as baseboard) requires something to get hot and hold heat energy that the air currents can access. Although the heating element is obviously going to be hot, covers (typically made of steel) will also hold heat energy and play a significant role in the heating process. Each of our baseboard covers are made of relatively thick gauge galvanized steel. They will get just as hot as the original covers, and should not be considered a cool to the touch solution.
My baby is starting to crawl and the open gap at the bottom of the heater might attract her curious fingers. Can I block this part of the heater with something?
Indeed this is a potential safety hazard. The area where the floor and wall meet is where the slow moving cool air currents hang out. These air currents will eventually come into contact with the heating element and be propelled upward as heated air. Covering the lower portion of a baseboard heater is strictly prohibited, unless you would like your heaters to stop working. Air flow is the critical process that allows this type of heating to work. Blocking the lower (air in) or upper portion (air out) of the baseboard heater will effectively turn it off.
What can I do to make my electrical baseboard heaters safer around Children?
Our number one suggestion to make electric baseboard heaters safe is to replace them completely with a different method of heating. It's a radical and likely very costly suggestion, but there's no doubt that the folks who invented this heating method didn't consider child safety. Of course if this is not feasible, the next best thing you can do is to install one of our baseboard covers. The one-piece design will keep the large open gap at the top of the heater fully enclosed and inaccessible while ensuring proper airflow.