Have the gas fireplaces in your building been certified for use in BC?

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Does your building have gas fireplaces manufactured by Canadian Fire Hearth Manufacturing Inc. and Luxor Manufacturing Inc.? If so, you’ll want to verify that they have a valid certification mark from an agency accredited by the Standards Council of Canada. This comes following a safety order issued by Technical Safety BC requiring products that do not meet certain requirements to be disconnected immediately due to potential safety concerns. 

“Gas appliances that are sold, leased, rented, used, or installed in BC must bear either a certification mark from an approved certification agency or an approval mark issued by Technical Safety BC,” explains Brad Wyatt, Safety Manager, Gas, referring to section 31 (1) of the Gas Safety Regulation. “These marks indicate that the appliance has undergone safety and performance testing to a nationally-recognized standard.” 

In this case, the relevant fireplaces are either lacking the certification mark completely, or have a certification mark that was used without the permission of the certification body. The use of these gas appliances could therefore pose a potential danger to the public.

Which fireplaces are affected?

Gas fireplaces manufactured by Canadian Fire Hearth Manufacturing Inc. or Luxor Manufacturing Inc. which either: 

  • do not bear the label or mark from a certification agency accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).

OR

  • display a LabTest Certification Inc. certification label and are of specific models and serial numbers.

OR

  • display QAI Laboratories Ltd. certification label and are of specific models and serial numbers.

For a complete list of affected models, go to www.technicalsafetybc.ca and search for “Use of Uncertified Gas Fireplaces Manufactured by Canadian Fire Hearth Mfg. Inc. and Luxor Mfg. Inc.” This is the safety order that provides more details, including how to report the units. 

Where can I find fireplace model or serial number information?

Find the rating plate which contains the model number and serial number. Gas fireplaces have a rating plate in the control compartment area, under the burner or on the firebox side area. Gas inserts have a rating plate in the control compartment area, under the burner or on the side of the firebox. Once you have determined the model and serial number, compare it to the list of affected models listed on Technical Safety BC’s website.

What should I do next?

If a fireplace in your building is impacted, have a licensed gas contractor immediately disconnect it from the fuel supply. Then report any affected units to Technical Safety BC as described in the safety order.

If you have questions or concerns about this article, please contact Technical Safety BC at media@technicalsafetybc.ca.

 

FIREPLACE SAFETY TIPS

No matter what the brand of your gas fireplace, regular service by a professional is critical. Follow these tips to keep your gas equipment, building and its inhabitants safe. 

  • All gas-fired fireplaces should be inspected and serviced by a licensed gas contractor at least once a year, or according to the manufacturer’s certified instructions. 
  • All work that involves a gas-fired appliance is regulated and therefore must be done by a qualified individual in good standing. Currently, this would be a holder of a class A or B gasfitter license, or a Gas Appliance Service Certificate of Qualification from Technical Safety BC. All work must be performed under the appropriate permits where required.
  • Warn your tenants of the dangers of carbon monoxide. It is recommended that Canadian-approved carbon monoxide (CO) detectors be installed in every building that contains fuel burning equipment. CO detectors should be installed and tested as per manufacturer instructions. 
  • Advise tenants never to reposition logs in their gas fireplace; this is a task that should only be done by a qualified gas contractors due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Fall is the busiest time to get fireplaces serviced. Try scheduling annual maintenance services for your building in the off season to beat the rush.

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2018 edition of the CHOA Magazine.

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