A fireplace can be the focal point of your home as the winter chill draws you and your family indoors. While most modern fireplaces are extremely safe, it is important to remember that these sophisticated machines can still be hazardous if used improperly or treated with disregard. With your family’s safety in mind today we will go over Five Fireplace Safety Tips!
Make sure family members and guests are aware that the glass panel of a gas fireplace, stove or insert can be very hot. Gas fireplaces can run very quiet, unlike a wood burning fireplace which has the crackling wood. Letting your guests and children know that even though the fireplace is quiet and the flame is not large, the glass can heat up and cause burns if leaned against. Always supervise children, the aged, infirm or pets near an operating gas fireplace, stove or insert – or one that has recently been turned off. It helps to consider the glass to always be potentially hot.
Wait for the appliance and glass panel to cool down before allowing anyone to get near it. Cool down can take a long time – an hour or more. Since some appliances use a thermostat to automatically turn the fire on/off, you may not know when the fire was actually turned off. Just because there is no flame doesn’t mean there is no heat, playing it safe and waiting for the fireplace to cool down is the right move.
Read Owner’s Manual
The phrase “knowledge is power” has never been more true when it comes to fireplace safety. Learning the ins and outs of your fireplace can help you reduce risk of injury and will teach you how to properly operate your fireplace. Learning how the fireplace operates properly also gives you the knowledge to watch for warning signs if your fireplace is not operating properly or needs to be maintained and serviced by a professional. We recommend getting your fireplace serviced at least once a year for it to remain under warranty.
Many modern fireplaces have an included remote control for operation. Keep the remote control (if your appliance has one) out of the reach of children. It may also be possible to disable your remote when not in use. Another piece of technology your fireplace may have is a switch lock. A switch lock can prevent children from turning on the gas fireplace, stove or insert. Operation of these switches differs by manufacturer, so be sure to read the instructions carefully.
Install Protective Screen or Barrier
Consumers with existing fireplaces, stoves or inserts should consider installing a protective screen or physical barrier to protect contact with hot glass, especially if there are children or other at-risk individuals in the house. Safety products come in various forms, including:
Attachable safety screens (fastens to the front of the fireplace, stove or insert). Aftermarket safety screens that attach to the fireplace, stove or insert could adversely affect the safe operation of your unit. Contact the safety screen manufacturer to verify that the safety screen is approved by
the fireplace manufacturer for your appliance.
Free-standing safety gates (barriers set up to prevent access).
Free-standing fireplace screens (constructed of mesh screen and set back from the fireplace or stove front).
We’ve mentioned previously that the new Astria lineup of gas fireplaces will have a safety barrier built directly into the fireplace, eliminating the need to purchase and install an aftermarket barrier screen.
To sum up the top 5 safety tips we’ve gone over today, check out this video provided by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association!
For even more fireplace safety tips and to learn about the industry’s new safety standards check out this article at Realty Times.
Be sure to contact us below if you have any questions about Fireplace Safety or if you would like your fireplace to be maintained and serviced!