Designed to help prevent severe burns to toddlers, children and other at risk individuals
Screen shields kids from fireplace burns
Owner of W-D Metalcraft found out just how badly product was needed after it was introduced
By Frances Barrick, Record staff
KITCHENER - First, Peter Nigh developed a fireplace screen to protect children from severe burns.
Then the Kitchener entrepreneur discovered that childhood burns caused by gas fireplaces are a big problem.
Now he's trying to develop a market for his protective screens for what Nigh says has become " an epidemic of childhood burns.
"I invented the product. Then I found out about the problem, he says.
"I don't have a market because people don't know of the danger, says Nigh, who co- owns W-D Metalcraft, which produces custom-made fireplace doors at its Bridge Street East location.
Gas fireplace glass doors can reach a temperature of more than 200 C in six minutes, hot enough to cause third-degree burns. says Safe Kids Canada, an injury prevention program run by The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. It takes 45 minutes for the fireplace to cool to a safe temperature once the fire is switched off.
Recently, Nigh redesigned his screens after speaking with doctors at burn units at Toronto hospitals and advocates who promote child safety products.
The new screen is a piece of moulded mesh, which surrounds a gas fireplace on all sides to better protect children.
Dr. Robert Cartotto. acting director of the burn unit at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, says burns from gas fireplaces are “totally preventable,“ and that is why he believes devices, such as the screens invented by Nigh, should be required by law.
In February, Sick Kids hospital launched an awareness campaign about the dangers to children from gas fireplace and distributed posters to schools. child-care centres and medical offices across Ontario.
7 Bridge St. E., Unit 9 Kitchener Phone: 519-579-1881 Email: saIes@wdmetalcraft.com Web: www.wdmetalcraft.com Employees: 2 full-time and 3 part-time
Peter Nigh, co-owner of W-D Metalcraft, installs a fireplace screen designed to prevent children from being burned on the glass doors of gas fireplaces