Gas fireplaces add beauty to the heating arrangement of a room. They can be efficient and cost-effective. However, there are safety precautions that need to be taken, especially around children. Children are most vulnerable because they are still learning to walk and discipline their bodies. They may accidentally touch the glass that protects the fire. However, this glass can reach a temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, this kind of temperature is dangerous and can cause burns or scars. Another problem is the potential of carbon monoxide poisoning.
There are some things that can be done to create a safer environment when it comes to having a gas fireplace. One is to have a family discussion about the rules and review them often. One bit of carelessness on the part of anyone can create a problem. Paper and flammable items need to be kept away from the fire and safety glass. Children cannot run and play around the fire. They need to stay away. Plus, everyone needs to understand that even if the fire has been turned off, the glass can still remain hot. It is especially important to keep instilling these rules in children.
One item that can help with safety is a safety screen. This is a barrier between the hot glass and the children. However, even though these screens are safety screens, they can also become hot so they are not something that can be touched. They simply are a second barrier, but that does not mean that they don’t heat up. The safety screen should never be moved away because someone might forget to move it back.
As with any heating unit, whether it is a glass fireplace or not, it is necessary to have two different safety detectors. One is a smoke detector. The other is a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that can prove to be fatal. Have the proper number of detectors for your size home. Change the batteries in them every six months to ensure that the batteries are fresh and working.
All flammable items must be kept a safe distance from the fireplace. This is probably one of the most challenging things in an active household. If children are playing and carrying around paper, books, blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals, it is all too easy for something to get too close to the fire. Three feet is the minimum distance for safety, and the farther the distance, the better.
Annual inspections by a licensed professional will make sure the fire place unit is running efficiently.
If you are building a new home and are considering having a gas fireplace, the above safety precautions should make you stop and think. If the home is for grown adults and older children, that is one thing. But if there are going to be a number of younger children or grandchildren around, do you want the continual safety concerns that gas poses? You may be better off with a hvac installation. Yes, gas flames dance and are pretty, but are the safety concerns worth it? If you are building a new home you should seriously consider whether it might not be better to go with the typical hvac system. You can have hvac service yearly to check the health of the unit. Of course, all heating systems have safety concerns. Carbon monoxide is also a concern with a traditional heater. But in terms of children being able to get close to the heating unit and be in danger of hurting themselves, that is usually not a problem with a regular heater. The heater is usually hid away in a closet or an out of the way area, and the heated air is sent throughout the house via the duct system. It is a safer way of heating.