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Are Gas Fireplaces Safe?

There are a few key concepts that play a major role in any fireplace purchase you’re considering for your home, and safety is naturally at the top of the list. For those who are specifically looking for gas fireplaces, there’s a common question: Are these models safe?

At Uintah Fireplace and Design, we’re here to tell you something unequivocally about our gas fireplaces: The answer is yes, they’re completely safe – as long as you have a basic idea of some very simple safety requirements and approaches, all of which we’re happy to detail to you. Here are some of the most important such areas to keep in mind.

Proper Gas Line and Venting Setup

First and foremost, when the gas fireplace is first being installed, one key step is to ensure that the gas line and venting setup are both properly installed, connected and tested. This is where a certified professional comes in and handles all the work necessary to make sure everything is airtight and secure.

Your gas line, for instance, must be securely connected to the unit and properly sealed with a high-quality sealant, while any venting must also be installed correctly. With proper installation and testing in place, you can rest easy knowing that your gas fireplace won’t pose any major fire danger.

Install a Safety Screen Barrier

Especially if you have children or pets in the home, but even if not, you should always install a safety screen barrier in front of your gas fireplace. These serve two purposes: keeping any animals or children away from the flames, and also helping to keep sparks and embers from flying out into the room. When properly installed with a certified professional, these are highly effective for providing an extra layer of safety around your gas fireplace.

When searching for the ideal safety screen, look for stainless steel or tempered glass, as these are the most effective when it comes to prevention and protection. If you really want the best protection possible, consider a double glass barrier that has two separate panes.

Know (And Observe) Your Clearance Zones

When we talk about clearance zones for a gas fireplace, this essentially refers to the area around and adjacent to the unit that must remain clear at all times – both before use and afterward. The exact dimensions of your clearance zone will depend on the model you choose, but typically it should be a distance of at least three feet away from combustible materials, including walls, furniture and other items.

In some situations, you may need to erect physical barriers to ensure the clearance zone is maintained. Young children and pets, for instance, may be attracted to the fireplace and need an added layer of protection.

Periodic Cleaning and Maintenance

Another vital factor to consider when it comes to safety with gas fireplaces is the need for periodic cleaning and maintenance. Generally speaking, this should be done on a yearly basis by a professional HVAC technician. The goal here is to make sure that all of the internal components remain in excellent condition and free from any dust, dirt or residue build-up.

For instance, you might be surprised to learn that gas fireplace fans can accumulate lint and other debris over time, so having them inspected and cleaned regularly is important. The same goes for any of the air intake vents. And don’t forget about cleaning out the firebox itself, as well as wiping down the screen barrier with a damp rag to remove any stubborn residue or dust.

Creating House Rules

For some, the surest way to ensure safety when it comes to gas fireplaces is to simply create house rules that all family members must adhere to. This could include no playing or running near the fireplace, for instance, and always keeping the device turned off when not in use.

Additionally, if you have children in your home, be sure they know never to touch the flames or try to climb on or around the fireplace. Teaching your kids about how to stay safe near a gas fireplace is essential for protecting them and avoiding any accidents.

By following these various steps, you can make sure that your gas fireplace remains as safe as possible. As long as you take proper precautions and use common sense, your gas fireplace can be a great addition to your home’s décor and ambiance.

For more on this or any of our fireplace services, please contact us today at Uintah Fireplace and Design. We look forward to serving you!

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