Safety Should Be Your First Priority
There’s nothing like putting your feet up by a fireplace in the dead of winter. That cozy glow at the end of a long day can be one of our favourite things about a home.
But is it safe?
What if I told you that a gas fireplace is like any other appliance in the home? Just like a toaster is an appliance. And like any other appliance, it’s as safe as you make it.
On that freezing, snowy evening, when we snuggle up in front of a fire, fireplace safety may not be the first thought on our minds.
However, making sure your fireplace is safe for you and your family should be number one.
Fireplaces Can Fail
Yes, fireplaces can be safe, but here are common ways they can fail:
Unlike toasters, fireplaces have a fair number of guidelines for proper installation.
Install them with the wrong clearance and you could set something on fire. Install improper venting and hot gases go where you don’t want them. Improper insulation will make your fireplace less efficient.
If your gas fireplace has a chimney system, gaps or cracks can develop over time. If not regularly inspected and maintained, unwanted gases could vent in the wrong place.
Keep these things from happening to you by following the next steps.
5 Things You Should Do before Enjoying Your Fireplace
- Have a fire extinguisher ready to go. Is it easy to get to? Is it in good working order? Does everyone in the family know how to use it?
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are a small detail that could make all the difference. Have them tested regularly. Oh, and don’t forget the batteries.
- Plan your layout. When the fireplace is installed, make sure it’s out of the way of foot traffic, furniture, and draperies. Keep any flammable objects as far away from the fireplace as possible. Make sure all your furniture is two to three feet away from the unit.
- Read the manual and fully understand how to properly operate the fireplace. This might not be our favourite part of setup, but it’s essential!
- Thoroughly clean the area. It’s possible your fireplace will be installed during construction or renovations. If so, there could be leftover drywall dust or other contaminants that could harm parts in the fireplace.
Bonus Fireplace Safety Tips
When you’re enjoying the flicker of a fire, it’s easy to forget about the possible risks. So, when children and pets are in the same room with a gas fireplace, make sure they’re carefully supervised.
The glass insert around a gas fireplace can quickly heat up to temperatures unsafe to touch. Have children and pets stay at least three feet away. If there are younger children, you may even consider placing barriers around the fireplace.
If your fireplace comes with a remote control, keep it out of the reach of your little ones. For added safety, install a switch lock to prevent them from turning on the appliance.
Once everything is ready and installed, you just have a few more loose ends to tie up. Read on!
How to Master Maintenance
Back to the manual! Your appliance will come with manufacturer’s instructions and a care guide. It’s important to understand how to maintain your specific fireplace and to do it regularly.
Here are 3 common ways your manual may direct you to take care of your fireplace.
- Have a licensed gas contractor regularly inspect your fireplace and have it cleaned. While you’re at it, get a pro to inspect the chimney and gas lines. They’ll be looking for dents, holes, and other damage.
- Check for debris and buildup in the vent and keep it clear. A gas fireplace will not produce as much residue as a wood-burning fireplace, but it can still build up over time.
- Check glass panels or doors occasionally. Are they cracked or broken? Gas fireplaces shouldn’t be operated if this is the case.
The Bottom Line
Anytime you have a fire inside the house, it involves risk. However, a gas fireplace can be used safely!
You can enjoy a fireplace safely by paying attention to two areas:
- How the fireplace is installed.
- How the fireplace is used and maintained.
Follow the guidelines in this blog to make sure your gas fireplace is safely set up, installed, and maintained.
If you do, you’ll be safely enjoying that cozy warm glow in no time.
TH Fireplaces is Alberta’s premier fireplace installation and service company in Calgary and Canmore area. We carry only the best high-quality fireplaces that can perform in the most demanding conditions.
Questions or comments? Speak with our team today.
Calgary: (403) 287-3958