A gas fireplace is a relaxing way to heat your home, providing a wonderful atmosphere for family and guests and saving on utility bills. But there are still some hazards that are associated with a gas fireplace, especially if it's used often.
Keep Your Fireplace Well-Cleaned and Inspected
Your gas fireplace should be cleaned out by a professional cleaning service at least once a year -- twice a year if you live in a colder climate and use it more often. The cleaning reduces the fire hazard that a fireplace can represent. Even if you're cleaning the inside of the fireplace, it's unlikely that you're washing out the venting enough. Dust and other debris can build up inside of the fire vent itself, creating a hazard. Further, birds can nest in the top or block off the top, making it more likely that carbon monoxide will build up in your home.
In addition to cleaning, an annual maintenance check of your fireplace will ensure that everything is working as it should. There are some companies that will perform both maintenance and cleaning.
Test Your Fire Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Testers Regularly
One of the major hazards of a gas fireplace is carbon monoxide build up. To that end, you should test your carbon monoxide alarms regularly to make sure that they are still working. If you have an all-in-one fire alarm and carbon monoxide tester, make sure that they haven't been turned off and that their batteries still work. People very often turn off alarms when they malfunction and then forget to turn them back on. Your fire alarms should also be located close to the gas fireplace, to make sure that they will go off quickly.
Clear Up the Clutter
Any clutter around the fireplace should be removed. Some items can actually catch fire from radiant heat rather than direct heat. In other words, papers that are stacked next to a fireplace could actually get set on fire from the heat alone, even if the fire itself isn't directly touching it.
A well-maintained and well-cleaned gas fireplace can be very safe. The most important thing for to remember is that it shouldn't be left on for long periods of time unattended. If anything does seem strange in your home -- such as the fireplace not lighting properly -- you should immediately call a technician, to make sure that there isn't a gas leak. To find out more, contact a Northwest Chimney Service Inc.