A functional fireplace can provide low-cost heat, create a cozy atmosphere, and boost your property value by up to $4,999. Gas fireplaces, in particular, are in high demand because they are easy to use and require minimal maintenance.
If your home didn’t come with a built-in fireplace, you’re in luck. Dreifuss provides top-of-the-line fireplaces and professional installation to Philadelphia homeowners.
When installing a fireplace, it’s important to learn how to safely use one. We’re here to help with that, too.
Read on for the top seven gas fireplace safety tips that all homeowners should know before and after installation.
1. Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detector
Unlike wood-burning fireplaces, gas fireplaces do not produce visible signs that your ventilation system is malfunctioning. The ventilation system in a gas fireplace is crucial because it filters out carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide exposure can cause a variety of concerning symptoms, including dizziness, nausea, and blurred vision.
The best way to ensure that your gas fireplace ventilation system is working properly is to install a carbon monoxide detector nearby. Use the manufacturer user manual to test your carbon monoxide detector at least twice a year.
2. Create a Three-Foot Clearance Zone
We always recommend creating a clearance zone of at least three feet around your gas fireplace. When the fireplace is in use, sit at least three feet away from it and keep an eye on pets and kids.
The same goes for furniture and other textiles, like throw rugs or drapes. If you plan on mounting your TV near the fireplace, we recommend choosing a location that isn’t directly above it. While electronics are not likely to catch on fire, placing them too close to the fireplace can cause potential heat damage.
3. Always Use a Safety Screen
Gas fireplaces have a glass panel installed in front of the flames. In the past, all you needed was this glass panel for your gas fireplace to be considered safe. Now, we provide homeowners with mesh safety screens and urge you to keep them in place when the fireplace is in use and for several hours after you’ve turned it off.
Why is this safety screen crucial? While the glass does protect you from making direct contact with the flames, it also gets very hot. The safety screen prevents you and other household members from touching the glass, which can cause severe burns.
4. Talk to Your Family About Fireplace Safety
Fireplace safety requires communal effort. When you’re installing a new fireplace, you should always talk to everyone in your household about fireplace safety. That includes children, who need to understand that while it’s okay to sit three feet away from the fire, it’s not safe to get any closer, to turn the fireplace on without supervision, or to move the safety screen.
Each year, go over fireplace safety rules again before you start using the fireplace on a regular basis. You can even quiz your kids on fireplace safety rules and make sure that everyone is committed to preventing pets from getting too close.
5. Never Leave a Lit Fireplace Unattended
We often talk about how fireplaces are a great source of low-cost heating. Does that mean that you can leave your fireplace on all day, even when you’re not in the room, or overnight while you sleep?
The answer is no. While gas fireplaces don’t require the stoking and attention that wood-burning fireplaces do, that doesn’t mean that you should leave them running without supervision. Your presence can help to protect your kids and pets and ensures that you’ll notice any issues before they get out of hand.
6. Schedule an Annual Inspection
Once you have your new gas fireplace installed in your home, make sure to schedule an annual inspection and mark the dates on your calendar. Yearly inspections are great because they increase your safety and save you money. By detecting small issues early, you can have them fixed before they get out of hand and costly.
What happens during an annual gas fireplace inspection? Your technician will make sure that the ignition switch is functioning correctly, that your ventilation system is in good condition, and that the fireplace is nice and clean. Scheduling an annual inspection allows you to rest assured that your gas fireplace is safe to use for another year.
7. Know the Warning Signs
In addition to scheduling an annual inspection, we encourage you to learn about some of the warning signs that your gas fireplace needs a tune-up. That way, you can schedule a maintenance appointment right away, rather than waiting until your annual inspection, when the issue may have worsened.
What are those warning signs? They include, but aren’t limited to:
- a new and unusual smell when the fireplace is in use
- a dirty or hazy-looking film on the inside of the glass panel
- delayed ignition or the inability to ignite your fireplace
- a new and unusual noise coming from the fireplace
By checking that your carbon monoxide detector is working and keeping an eye out for these warning signs, you can keep your home and family safe.
Gas Fireplace Safety Tips to Protect Your Home and Family
Gas fireplaces are a great addition to any home. They provide a low-cost source of heat, create an unbeatable ambiance, and make your home more attractive and valuable to future buyers. By following these gas fireplace safety tips, you can get the most out of your gas fireplace while protecting your home and your family.
Ready to talk more about installing a gas fireplace in your home? Contact us to find out about our products, services, pricing, and availability. We look forward to hearing from you and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.