You need more effort than just asking your children to not go near the fireplace or attempt at touching it. Children being children, they often forget the prohibitions, and rather indulge in what they are prohibited from doing. The flames, the colors and the concept itself look interesting to them to the point of not being able to resist.
So what remains is for us to take steps and measures that will ensure child fireplace safety even though they may come in close proximity to the fireplace. You should work on the premise that unforeseen or sudden accidents can happen any time. With that said, the measures you adopt need to be such that would provide as much protection as needed to keep your children safe.
Fireplace Safety Tips that Will Provide Much Needed Protection:
Make sure that the walls around the fireplace are made with fire resistant material. It might be a small improvement, but one that will be a safety wonder. It is a big safety measure when the embers splutter and hit the wall.
Put a fire resistant grill on a net in front of the fireplace. Some of these grills are also heat resistant. So if you have a toddler crawling around the house, and he or she accidentally happens to touch it, it will save them from sudden burns or shocks.
These days rather than the conservative fireplace, one can go for the gel fireplaces with a glass door that are also heat resistant. It is a great way to enjoy a fireplace, and at the same time to be protected from hazardous accidents.
Look for some instructional videos that you can play for your children. Often visual graphics will help to get the idea across effectively. Sit and explain to them the devastation caused by fire, also the fact that they can hurt themselves.
Do what you would expect of them, as in practice what you preach! Follow the safety rules yourself, as they would emulate you in your actions. That is the best way to get them to learn child fireplace safety.