DIY warning over Norwich toddler Trinity Coward fireplace death
- 26 August 2014
- From the section Norfolk
A coroner has warned parents of the dangers of DIY after a toddler was hit by a falling fire surround her father had installed.
Trinity Coward, two, was found injured at her home in the Lakenham area of Norwich on 6 July, an inquest heard.
Trinity's father had used glue to stick the fireplace to the wall, and she had been "swinging" on it before it fell.
Coroner Jacqueline Lake said the death highlighted "the dangers of carrying out do-it-yourself work in the home".
At the hearing in Norwich she recorded a verdict of accidental death.
Dean King, a trading standards officer from Norfolk County Council, said that about one child each year died in the UK in a similar way.
He said: "The incidents all involve surrounds made from stone which are fixed to a wall with an adhesive.
"It is not a suitable DIY project and should be approached by somebody with some knowledge of safe installation," he said.
In a statement read at the inquest, Mr Coward said he had bought the fireplace from an online auction about two years ago.
He said had bought "industrial-strength" glue from a DIY store and had used "more glue than recommended" to make sure the fireplace was secure.
But experts told the hearing it would not have been strong enough to hold it in place.
Mrs Lake said: "This does highlight a lack of regulation in respect of the sale of second-hand fireplaces on a private basis and where they are fitted by an individual.
"Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident.
"Trinity's death highlights the dangers of carrying out do-it-yourself work in the home where a job like this requires professional installation.
"I make no criticism of Mr Coward - he was trying to make his home look nice and was unaware of the dangers he was facing."