Gas fireplaces can be the focal point of any room. They are an efficient way to take the chill off of a room on a cool fall night or keep everyone warm on a blistery winter’s eve. With countless types and styles, there is unquestionably one that is aesthetically pleasing for your house. However, with direct vent fireplaces, there are a few safety precautions everyone needs to be aware of before, during, and after installing one in your home.

Before we get into those safety precautions you should know that there is a new rule for direct vent fireplace safety.  All direct vent fireplaces, stoves, and inserts fabricated on or after January 1, 2015, must be installed with a protective barrier device. The front glass on direct vent units can reach temperatures over 172 degrees Fahrenheit, causing severe burns. There are multiple options available of this safety precaution, from light weight protective screens to luxury doors and frames. While these barriers are the front line for burn protection, there are still many safety precautions that should be practice while your fireplace is in operation.

First, read your owner’s manual. The homeowner should know as much as possible about the appliance installed in his or her home. This will immediately minimize negligence on his or her behalf. Practicing safe use with your appliance will help keep others out of harm’s way.

Second, the home owner should make sure that family members and guests are aware of the fireplace and the glass panel. Everyone is typically drawn to the fireplace, especially in the winter, so it is critical that they are aware that the temperatures can be extreme and cause injury if contact is made.

Third, just because the fireplace is off, does not mean that it is not hot. Wait for the appliance to cool down before allowing anyone near it or attempting to move or handle it. Cool down can take a long time, up to or in excess of an hour. Some of the appliances may use a thermostat to control the flame, so you may not be aware of when it is actually off.  A fireplace that has recently been turned off can be just as hot as one that is on. The best suggestion here is to always assume that the glass and fireplace is hot, and take precaution.

Fourth, like your stovetop, gas appliances should never be left unattended. If you leave the house, the appliance should be turned off. If children or pets are present, an adult should always be mindful of where they are in relation to the fireplace.

Finally, know where you’re equipment and switches are at all times. It is important to keep any remote controls out of the reach of children. Installing a switch lock may be a good idea. This will keep children from being able to manipulate the controls.

Hearth products have the ability to make your home more relaxed and comfortable.  Following these steps and taking extreme caution while enjoying a gas fireplace can lead to an enhanced, safe experience for you and your guests.


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