Safety Pointers For New Gas Fireplaces

Posted on: 17 February 2021

A gas fireplace allows you to enjoy both the heat and the ambiance of a fireplace without the mess and labor of chopping and burning wood. If you are looking at fireplaces for sale, make sure to consider the safety features as well as the appearance and function of the appliance.

Safety Screens and Heat Barriers

The glass that surrounds a gas fireplace can become extremely hot -- as hot as the broiler in your oven. Anything that sits too close to the fireplace screen runs the danger of combusting, getting singed, or melting. If a person or pet brushes the screen, severe burns can be a result.

For this reason, verify that the models of fireplaces you are looking at each include a safety screen. This is a heat-resistant screen that sits a couple of inches out from the main glass barrier. The barrier prevents accidental brushes against the screen, as well as providing a reminder not to place anything on the hearth near the fireplace.

Venting and Fume Detection

Carbon monoxide is always a risk when using any gas appliance. Your fireplace should be equipped with proper vents so that fumes are whisked away and out of your home. Many models are made to vent up an existing chimney, although there is the option of installing a direct vent in the event your home is not already equipped with a chimney. Some fireplace models come with assisted vents, which include a fan that helps move fumes out of the home more readily.

Even with good ventilation, it is important to install a carbon monoxide detector at the same time as you install the fireplace. This detector will alert you if there are any fumes leaking into your home, which is vital for the safety and health of your family. Test the detector monthly and replace the batteries when necessary.

Safety Shutoffs and Gas Leaks

A gas fireplace uses a pilot light to light the burner when you turn the fireplace on. When not in use, the pilot light usually produces a small, blue flame. The concern is if the pilot light goes out. A modern gas fireplace should be equipped with a safety device that shuts off the gas if the pilot light is blown out, so make sure any model you are considering has this updated feature.

There are also models available that contain an ignition system. What this means is that the gas and pilot light are turned off when you aren't using the fireplace. When you do flip it on, the ignition system turns on the gas and creates a spark to ignite the pilot light again. Ignition systems can cut down on the chance of a gas leak.

Contact a fireplace dealer if you have more questions about choosing a safe gas fireplace for your home.


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