Everyone loves sitting around a fireplace. It gives off an unbeatable ambiance and is oftentimes the central focus point in our family spaces. However, if the right precautions aren’t taken, fireplaces can be dangerous. That’s why we want to ensure that you and your family are operating it with care. In order to do that, take a look at our top safety tips for heating your home with a gas fireplace.
Fire is hot. We use it to heat our homes and keep us cozy during the cold months. While we love the heat that radiates from a fire on a cold winters night, we need to remember that the closer things are to the fire, the more chances of combustion. Since fireplaces reach such high temperatures, make sure that while you are using them you keep anything flammable a safe distance away. This includes clothing, decorations and anything that has the possibility of combusting. During the holidays if you hang stockings, don’t forget to take them down before lighting a fire.
When you use gas fireplaces, it’s important to make sure that your carbon monoxide detectors are on and working. Since carbon monoxide is odorless, yet deadly, it’s important that your systems are doing their jobs in order to protect your family. Make sure that the room that you use your gas fireplace in, along with any other rooms that have gas appliances, have working carbon monoxide detectors. Don’t forget to check your batteries more than once throughout the year.
In addition to monitoring your carbon monoxide levels, you should also check all of your smoke detectors. Replace any batteries if necessary and always keep them plugged in and active. You never know when they will be needed.
An important safety tip for heating your gas fireplace is making sure that you have protective screens installed over the glass. Safety screens help to form a barrier between you and the glass to reduce burns. Since glass retains so much heat, the screens help prevent people from making direct contact. In fact, as of 2015 having a safety screen in place is actually required by the American National Standards Institute. Additionally, since some gas fireplaces are open-heart, safety screens will prevent children or pets from getting too close.
Unfortunately, safety screens aren’t completely heat resistant, so we don’t recommend testing them out by touching them.
Fireplaces get dirty. The smoke that billows up through your chimney causes highly combustible chemicals to build up over time. The combination of dust, soot, chemicals and even small pieces of debris can cause serious blockages to your fans and blowers. This is why it’s important to get annual fireplace inspections and cleanings. If you don’t, you may face more long-term damage. You also run the risk of operating an unsafe fireplace during the following year. In order to make sure that everything is running and hazard free, don’t skip on the annual inspections. When you hire a fireplace and chimney professional, make sure they also check the gas lines in addition to your physical fireplace and chimneys.
A direct vent offers a few benefits in terms of safety. First and foremost, they help to maintain the integrity of your home’s air quality. Direct vents expel 100% of the exhaust that is produced from fireplaces into the air outside. They are sealed systems so you don’t have to worry about you and your family’s quality of air when you use your fireplace.
The most important piece of safety advice is to make sure you always keep an eye on your children. Whether or not your fireplace is on, make sure that the remote or key is out of their reach and locked at all times. We also advise that you have a talk with them and explain that the fireplace will get hot and should not be touched. You can never take too many precautions when it comes to your kids.
Finally, if you need any repairs for your gas fireplace, make sure to call professionals. There are too many things that could go wrong if you try to turn it into a DIY project and you don’t want to create more trouble than you already have. Contact Chicago Tuckpointing Inc. at (708) 942-1951 if you would like to schedule an appointment today!