CAUTION, HOT GLASS! Keep Families Safer Around Gas Fireplaces This Winter
Many families have opted for the convenience of gas fireplaces, which have glass fronts that allow a full view of the flame. Parents may not realize how quickly the glass front and the surrounding metal frame can become extremely hot while operating and stay hot long after it is shut off. Fireplaces provide a special place for family and friends to gather. Keep those times special for your child by following these safety tips for your gas fireplace.
If you already own a glass fireplace, stove or insert:
• Increase awareness – Make sure your children and their friends are aware that the glass of a gas fireplace can be very hot and not to touch it or the surrounding metal. Since some appliances use a thermostat to automatically turn the fire on/off, you may not know when the fire was actually turned off.
• Never leave children unattended – Always supervise children near an operating gas fireplace –or one that has recently been turned off.
• Let it cool down – Wait for glass panels to cool down before allowing anyone to get near it. Cool down can take a long time – an hour or more.
• Secure the remote control – Keep the fireplace remote control (if you have one) out of reach of children so they can't light the fire accidentally.
Installing a protective screen or barrier:
• Attachable safety screens fasten to the front of the fireplace to create an air space between the hot glass and the screen. Contact your fireplace manufacturer to see if they offer a safety screen for your model. Aftermarket screens may be available, but check to make sure the manufacturer has approved the screen for use on your fireplace.
• Free-standing safety gates are barriers set up to prevent child access to the fireplace. There is a safety gate for adults to access the fireplace and the unit is often anchored to the wall for stability.
• Free-standing fireplace screens are common, are often constructed of mesh, and are set back from the fireplace to prevent direct access. Make sure these screens are stable and can't be moved easily by children. Safety products are evolving as new technologies and safety tests are developed. Check with a fireplace retailer in your area to learn about safety options for your fireplace.
If you are buying a new gas fireplace, stove or insert:
• Gas fireplaces, produced after January 1, 2015, must have safety screens installed to protect against contact with hot glass. If you are buying a new gas fireplace, be sure to ask about this important safety feature.
For more information about fireplace safety, safety products and how to locate a manufacturer orfireplace retailer, visit SafeFireplaceTips.com.
The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), based in Arlington, Va., is the North American industry association for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, representatives, service firms and allied associates for all types of fireplace, patio and barbecue appliances, fuels and accessories. The association provides professional member services and industry support in education, statistics, government relations, marketing, advertising and consumer education.