Having a fireplace surround installed safely in the home by a professional can often by overlooked during home improvement projects, but for families with children in particular, this could prevent an easily preventable injury or death in the home from the surround toppling on top of a youngster.
RoSPA and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have promoted the importance of safe installation of modular, stone or artificial stone fireplace surrounds following the death of four-year-old Matthew Green, who was killed when a fireplace surround fell on him.
Individual components of these fireplaces can weigh more than 50kgs and unless fitted in a secure manner, this makes the mantel, in particular, liable to topple off the lintel.
RoSPA's advice when buying one of these products is to:
- Seek professional advice BEFORE buying the product. Get assurance that the product you intend to buy is suitable and safe for your home
- Get quotes for the fireplace surround AND fitting in advance. Ensure that the combined cost is within your price range
- Get the fireplace surround fitted by a professional.
The Health and Safety Executive safety alert concerning installation of modular, stone and artificial stone fireplace surround in April, 2013.