Our top 5 gas fireplace safety tips
As the weather cools off, it's wonderful to light up gas fireplaces for warmth and ambiance. But it's essential to have these appliances maintained regularly by a licensed contractor. Here's what you need to know about fireplace safety, whether in your own home or a rental.
- 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 gas fitter license, or a Gas Appliance Service Certificate of Qualification from Technical Safety BC. All work must be performed under the appropriate permits where required.
- Gas fireplaces can produce carbon monoxide. It is recommended that Canadian-approved carbon monoxide (CO) detectors be installed wherever fuel-burning equipment is. CO detectors should be installed and tested as per manufacturer instructions. We recommend at least one detector for each floor, with detectors placed as close as possible to bedrooms or sleeping areas.
- Never re-position logs in your gas fireplace. You could accidentally cover up vents which can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. While it seems simple, this is a task that should only be done by licensed gas contractors.
- 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.
If you are concerned about an unsafe condition (hazard), unpermitted work, or have experienced a safety incident related to a gas fireplace, please report it to Technical Safety BC. It's also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure.