I heard a story about a toddler who had been severely burnt the other day. He was just playing in the family living room, when he accidentally tripped and fell onto the fireplace.
Now this is something that all parents need to be very careful with. It is a terrible way to be injured and it is very easy to avoid.
You may have read about a few different ways to secure a fireplace for babies, but in my opinion there is only one way to be absolutely sure that your children does not get injured this way. By installing a safety gate around the fireplace. (Of course, you could just not use it at all when your children are small, but that is not necessary)
By using a fireplace safety gate you keep your toddlers from getting anywhere near the dangerous area.
I have a one suggestions on which gate you can buy.
Suggested fireplace safety gate
KidCo Auto Close Hearth Gate
I have used two other versions of the Auto-close gates. They are really good. If you forget to close the gate after using it, it takes care of it self. This is really great for parents (like me) that have a habit of forgetting stuff. Also, you can shape this gate/fence almost anyway you like. Out of the box it has four sets of walls, but you can buy more to get the shape that you really want. With this gate I would feel completely safe having a fire while my kid was playing nearby.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Most other sites that talk about baby proofing also recommend this exact gate. Just check out this article about finding the best fireplace gates for babies at safebabygate.