10 Steps for Safely Operating a Gas Fireplace
Some people are worried about the safety of a gas fireplace. There is nothing to worry about as long as you follow some simple safety procedures. If you follow these steps, you will be able to safely operate your gas fireplace. Keep in mind there are different varieties of gas fireplaces including ventless, direct-vent, and B-vent. Each type of gas fireplace is unique and has slightly different safety precautions. Make sure you know what kind of fireplace you have or are looking to buy. Once you know this information, you can use this guide to decide what safety precautions you need to take.
1. Don’t try to install the fireplace by yourself. Your fireplace should be installed by an authorized and factory-trained technician. If you want to convert your wood-burning fireplace to gas, be sure to hire a licensed contractor. Working with a gas line or a propane tank is a job for an experienced professional, not a do-it-yourselfer.
2. Buy a gas fireplace with a safety features. Nearly every new gas fireplace comes equipped with safety features such as a 100% fail-safe shut-off valve. If the pilot flame goes out, the gas flow will automatically turn off. Another safety device is a safety pilot. This device automatically shuts the gas off if the temperature in the fireplace gets too cold or if too much carbon monoxide builds up.
3. Have your chimney cleaned. If you are adding a gas fireplace to an existing fireplace with a chimney, get a professional chimney sweep before you fire up your gas logs for the first time. This will make sure the fireplace is safe to run and clear of any potentially harmful materials.
4. Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home. All fireplaces that run on gas-based fuel will emit a small amount of carbon monoxide. As a safety precaution, you should have a carbon monoxide detector in your home.
5. Get routine maintenance. You should have your fireplace inspected for any potential dangers annually and preferably semi-annually. Routine maintenance will ensure your fireplace continues to run efficiently.
6. Give your fireplace 3 feet of space. As a safe rule of thumb, don’t get too close to the fireplace or place furniture or objects within 3 feet. The glass on a fireplace can get very hot so it’s a good idea to give it some space.
7. For direct-vent fireplaces, make sure the damper stays open when the fireplace is running. The open damper will allow all the carbon monoxide to escape out of the chimney, but a closed damper will force the carbon monoxide into your home which is dangerous.
8. Make sure gas logs are placed correctly according to the instructions. If you purchase gas logs, have a professional set them up properly to avoid any issues.
9. For added safety when using ventless gas logs, introduce new oxygen. Ventless or vent-free gas logs use oxygen from inside the room and send back out a small amount of carbon monoxide. To maintain a healthy balance of oxygen, open a window or only use the fireplace for a few hours at a time.
10. Don’t operate the fireplace with the glass doors off. If you need to clean the glass fireplace doors, make sure the fireplace is turned off and the doors are cooled down to room temperature. Never operate the fireplace with the doors off.
There are plenty of other common sense rules for safely operating a gas fireplace, but these are the main precautions to consider. If you address these basic concerns, your gas fireplace will operate smooth and safe. Find the perfect gas fireplace for your home at Aspen Fireplace. View our online catalog on our website and be sure to visit our showroom at 5156 Sinclair Rd. Columbus, OH 43229.
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