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What is a Hearth Cover?

Article Details
  • Written By: Micki Elizabeth
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 10 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A hearth cover is a safety accessory for homes with fireplaces. Many fireplaces have a surrounding hearth or a short ledge typically made of brick or stone. The hard, sharp edges of a hearth could present a safety hazard for young children, the elderly, or practically anybody. A hearth cover is often made of a soft, padded, fire-retardant material that fits over the hearth for protection.

Once babies become mobile and begin to crawl and walk, guardians often find they need to “baby proof” a home to keep the child safe. A common hearth could be a dangerous obstacle to children or to anybody in the event of a fall. Hitting one’s head against a hard, sharp edge could result in a severe head injury.

Hearth covers can be made and ordered to fit most sizes. Many products come ready to use out of the box. To install the cover, one secures the padding flesh with the edges of the hearth. The sharp edges are then padded with thick foam in the hopes of preventing injury around the fireplace.

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Many companies pay attention to their customers’ desires for a hearth cover that is also an attractive addition to the home. Sometimes, an individual can choose between a wide selection of fabrics to use on the cover. In this way, a hearth cover can also become a home accessory. The covered hearth could act as a comfortable, padded bench to sit on. Often, these covers can be removed from the padding and washed in a standard washing machine when they become dirty.

Some consumers may feel that custom-made hearth covers are fairly expensive, but it is possible to build a hearth cover at home to save money. Instructions can be found in do-it-yourself resources and manuals. Typically, one needs thick foam measured to fit the hearth and covered in a material that will not catch fire.

A quality hearth cover should be made with a material that resists flame because of its proximity to the fireplace. One should check to make sure the material has passed government standards. Even when a material is fire-resistant, one should still remove the hearth cover while the fireplace is in use. Some products can be folded for easy storage.

Sometimes, a hearth cover refers to a full fireplace cover. These may be used when a fireplace is no longer working and has become a drafty, cold problem during winter. Full covers may also be used during the summer as an attractive and functional accessory.

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