Wall heaters are amongst the most hazardous of all heating appliances to pets and small children since they are openly accessible to small feet, fingers and furry pets. To childproof your wall heater, you must use extra caution that you don't attempt to block off access using anything that may be considered flammable, but the material must permit enough open space around the heater for air to flow out from the vent output.
Things You'll Need
- Measuring tape
- Tin snips
- Drill and 1/8 inch drill bit
- 12 self-starting screws, 9/16 inch diameter and at least 1 inch in length
- Screw driver set
- Screen door screen
- Hearth gate with wall mounting brackets included
Turn off the power to your wall heaters, if electric, at the circuit breaker of your home. Drill a 1/8 inch hole through the metal grate of your wall heater encasement, placing one hole in each corner of the grate. These are pilot holes and should be smaller than the diameter of the screws you will be using when screwing down the screen to the grate.
Measure the length and the width of the heater grate with your tape measure and cut out an equal-sized piece of screen using a pair of tin snips. Place the screen over the grate, lining up all of the edges to match the exact size of the grate. Using a screwdriver, screw 9/16 inch screws through the screen into each of the corner holes you drilled into the grate. Screw down tightly until the screw heads are flush with the surface of the screen. Your heater outlet is now protected from metal objects entering the assembly.
Set up a hearth gate around your wall heater in a fashion such that the wall mounts are touching the wall. Depending on the model of hearth gate you purchase, the mounts will have between two to four screw holes in them. Use the remaining self-starting 9/16 inch screws, or the screws that may have come with your hearth gate, to screw the gate mounts firmly against the wall. Restore power to your electric heater at your circuit breaker.
Tips & Warnings
- There are many manufacturers of hearth gates suitable for childproofing a wall heater. An excellent, though slightly expensive model, is called by the name of what it does: HearthGate. Another choice might be any of the differently-sized hearth gates manufactured by Kidco. Any gate will work as long as it is made of hardened fire-proof materials.
- Never drill holes through the panel of an external power or heat control panel, or you risk severe electrical shock and possibly damage to your heater. Always drill through other areas of the metal chassis if your wall heater has a control panel.
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