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Winter Gas Fireplace Safety for Pets and Kids

Gravenhurst Plumbing, Heating and Electric Offers Gas Fireplace Safety Advice for Kids and Pets This Winter.

Winter Gas Fireplace Safety for Pets and Kids

Nothing says snow day like a warm and cheery fireplace! But when your family includes pets and kids, your enjoyment is always tinged with worry.

As anyone who has ever turned their back on the family dog around a tasty grilled T-bone steak knows, supervision is not a foolproof plan. Blink and you might miss the critical signs of a pending fire disaster.

Does this mean you have to forgo your lovely warm fireplace and the togetherness it encourages though? Not at all! Read on to learn life-saving gas fireplace safety tips to protect your whole family this winter. 


Isn't a Gas Fireplace Supposed To Be Child and Pet Safe Already?

Gas fireplaces are a lot of great things, but being 100 percent child safe and pet safe isn't one of them.

The truth is, nothing with the word "fire" in it is ever going to offer guaranteed safety.

One thing most people also don't realize is that there are several types of gas fireplaces. But the good news is that you can nearly always find a gas fireplace that will work in your space - no matter how little space you actually have!

The bad news is that some types of gas fireplace are safer than others and, if you have inherited a gas fireplace along with your current home or condo, you may not even know what type you have.

Here is a list of the most popular types of gas fireplaces to help you can identify yours:

Direct Vent

A direct vent gas fireplace offers horizontal or vertical single venting, meaning they can fit in really small spaces - even those without any existing infrastructure for a chimney or a fireplace structure.

Natural Vent (B-vent)

Sometimes called B vent fireplaces, a natural vent gas fireplace is the most similar to your old-school wood fireplace. If your home has an existing chimney and fireplace structure but your fireplace uses gas, you might have a natural vent fireplace.

No Vent Gas Fireplace.

A ventless gas fireplace doesn't require any type of vent system to pull in air and exhaust gases. They are simplicity itself to install and rank high in energy efficiency.

However, placement is key to maximize respiratory safety. 

Because of this, you would be most likely to encounter a ventless fireplace in a condo or apartment or a larger single room with plenty of space to diffuse any toxins.

Gas Fireplace Insert

If your home has an existing chimney and/or fireplace structure that used to be a wood-burning fireplace, but your current fireplace uses gas, you might have a gas fireplace insert.

See-through (glass) fireplace inserts and artificial gas log fireplaces are also examples of a gas fireplace insert.

Standalone Gas Fireplace

Standalone gas fireplaces are by far the most visually striking. Both vented and ventless models exist.

Ventless models are often mounted in a central location, where they offer 360-degree views and seating. Vented models will be placed against a structure that offers venting to the outside.


Tips to Maximize Pet and Child Safety Around Gas Fireplaces

Have you identified your gas fireplace type or the type you think would be the best fit in your current space? (If you’re still not sure, click here for a great visual example of the different types you just read about.)

As you have no doubt noticed, certain gas fireplace models have additional safety concerns (such as the need for extra ventilation and air circulation with ventless models).

However, all gas fireplaces have two primary safety concerns: contact and respiratory. Read on for our list of child and pet safety tips for both types of safety concerns.

Gas Fireplace Contact Safety

Even though today's gas fireplace models typically have a high degree of inbuilt safety features, there is no safety like no-contact safety.

  • Clear a three-meter-wide barrier all the way around the area where the gas fireplace is located (this includes above the fireplace area!) and ensure all seating is also located outside this safety zone.
  • Train pets to stay away from the fireplace but do not use this as a substitute for supervision.
  • NEVER leave children or pets unattended when the fireplace is in use.
  • Add an extra layer (or two) of safety gates and barriers even beyond what comes pre-installed with your gas fireplace.
  • Do not permit children or pets to engage in active play or games in the room where the gas fireplace is located.
  • Schedule a yearly preventative gas fireplace maintenance and safety inspection.

Gas Fireplace Respiratory Safety

When you have any kind of fireplace, you always need to pay special attention to indoor air quality.

  • Increase ventilation and air circulation in the gas fireplace area.
  • Regularly clean and maintain vents, pilot lights and/or blowers (as applicable).
  • Keep furnace air filters clean and change them out once per month.
  • Ensure you have a working smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector.
  • Regularly inspect the gas fireplace itself for structural integrity and inspect any artificial gas logs (if applicable) for developing cracks or leaks.
  • Schedule a yearly preventative gas fireplace maintenance and safety inspection.


Looking For The Most Family Friendly Gas Fireplace in Gravenhurst, Ontario? Our HVAC Experts Can Help! 

Looking for a gas fireplace in Gravenhurst, Ontario? After more than 75 years serving your HVAC system needs here in Gravenhurst, Ontario, and surrounding areas, we have seen how rapidly gas fireplace technology has advanced.

Does this mean today's gas fireplaces have no risks? Not yet. But today's gas fireplace models are the safest they've ever been, and we only carry the safest models among those!

Allow our friendly, knowledgeable and experienced service technicians to guide you in your gas fireplace selection, purchase and installation. Our goal is your family's total comfort and safety.

Reach out to us by phone at (877) 885-3403 or online for safe, contactless fireplace information and service.

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