Gas Fireplace Safety During The Holidays
You should be enjoying a warm and cozy home this holiday season, not worrying about your family's safety.
As winter quickly approaches and we begin to prepare for the holiday season, it’s time that we pull out the Christmas Fireplace Safety List.
And, of course, to check it twice!
One of the most popular fireplaces that we install at Gravenhurst Plumbing, Heating and Electric is a gas fireplace by Heat & Glo. Why? Because they offer the perfect amount of efficient, steady warmth within a large space. They are also cost effective, easy to operate, require minimal maintenance and are visually stunning!
But, did you know that gas fireplace safety is commonly overlooked, especially during the holidays?
With the hustle and bustle of the season, families are usually more concerned about keeping their children from peaking at their presents, not from poking around too close to the gas fireplace.
Besides, is it really important to protect your family from a fireplace that does not burn in the traditional sense?
Contrary to popular belief - YES!
Keep reading to learn why!
Does a Gas Fireplace Create A Real Flame?
It is assumed that a gas fireplace does not create a real flame, simply because it does not require wood or stoking in order to continue burning throughout the day. That traditional fireplace design is known as a wood-burning fireplace or wood furnace.
The design of the gas fireplace is also quite similar to that of an electric fireplace, which we know does not produce a real flame - simply a well-done, glowing mockup of the real thing.
But gas fireplaces are unique in that they do actually produce a real flame, without needing a constant stoking of the flame.
Gas fireplaces produce a flame through the combustion of a natural fuel source (ie. propane). But instead of someone having to start the fire and keep it going manually, a pilot light will ignite the spark, causing a continual combustion of fuel.
Does a Gas Fireplace Produce Heat?
Since a gas fireplace does, in fact, produce a real flame, it also produces heat!
Heat, as you know, is a naturally occuring byproduct of combustion. So, as long as the gas fireplace is turned on and supplied with ample fuel, it will produce heat.
How Much Heat Can A Gas Fireplace Product?
Gas fireplaces can usually produce between 5,000-30,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units).
It goes without saying that anything that can produce that much heat should definitely be safetied and supervised at all times.
Gas Fireplace Safety Tips
Keeping your family and guests safe over the holidays is the most important gift you could ever give.
Some of the most common tips for keeping your home safe throughout the holiday season include:
- Testing your smoke alarms.
- Changing the batteries on your carbon monoxide detectors.
- Keeping your Christmas tree hydrated daily.
- Blowing out your candles when you leave the house or go to sleep.
But in this article, we’re discussing gas fireplace safety specifically. And, although these heating systems are considered much safer than a wood-burning fireplace, they still produce heat. Meaning, they can still become a dangerous hazard in your home if not properly managed.
1. Practice Caution And Supervision
The #1 gas fireplace safety tip we could ever give you is to practice caution and supervision at all times.
Like we just mentioned, these fireplaces are still hot to the touch. Ignoring basic safety precautions can lead to painful burns or even a fire hazard!
Make sure that your children know the dangers of the fireplace and never leave them unaccompanied in the room where the fireplace is burning.
2. Invest In a Secure Safety Barrier
One way to keep little hands from getting too close to the fireplace is by installing a secure safety barrier.
a) Fireplace Screen
This screen surrounds the fireplace and reduces the risk of potential burns. Although they are not needed in preventing embers or sparks from escaping (as a wood-burning fireplace would require), this insert is definitely needed in a gas fireplace in order to protect children and pets from the open flame.
b) Fireplace Doors
Fireplace doors are another safety barrier that reduces the risk of burns from the open flame. The added benefit of doors, however, is that they can actually save you money! They allow the flame to burn hotter and cleaner.
In addition to the safety benefits of these barriers, there is also the obvious benefit of improved aesthetics. With a variety of screen and door options to choose from, you can create the perfect, cozy ambience in your living area!
3. Keep The Area Surrounding Your Fireplace Clear
Lastly, it’s important that the area surrounding your gas fireplace is kept clean.
Don’t set up your Christmas tree too close to the fireplace.
Don’t hang your stockings too close to the flame.
Clear away all clothing, furniture, blankets and other combustible items.
Vacuum the area often - especially if you have a real pine tree set up in your home that sheds pine needles frequently. These needles are combustible and could become a fire hazard in your home within seconds.
Make a Fire Escape Plan With Your Family
Although you should never have to worry about a house fire occurring, now that you have followed the gas fireplace safety tips we’ve listed above, you should nonetheless always have a fire escape plan in place.
Whether it be from your fireplace, a candle, the stovetop, hair straightener or other heat source in your home, accidents happen. And it’s up to you and your family to ensure that you do everything you can to both prevent these accidents from happening and prepare for the potential risks associated with them.
Safeguard Your Gas Fireplace With Gravenhurst Heating Equipment This Holiday Season
Helping your family celebrate the season warmly and safely is #1 on our Christmas list this year. And we hope it’s on yours as well! Taking your safety, and that of your family and guests, into your own hands is vital as a homeowner.
If you haven’t installed a gas fireplace screen or door yet, we encourage you to get in touch with our heating safety experts today!
Our gas fireplace equipment is built for efficiency, comfort and safety - especially when enduring the harsh winters of Northern Ontario. And keeping that heat contained in a safe environment goes hand in hand with ALL of our gas fireplace installations, maintenance and repairs.
Have a safe and happy holiday season!