Fall in Love With Autumn, Safely

CSA Group Offers Tips for Staying Safer While You Keep Warm This Fall

What’s not to love about the fall? Colourful leaves, cozy sweaters and comfort food are all reasons to embrace the fresh autumn air. As the temperature drops, curling up next to a fireplace becomes very tempting – but remember that gas appliances can pose a risk. Make sure they’re in good working order before you turn them on for the season.

“With the seasons changing and more time spent indoors, it’s important to think about home heating safety,” said Allison Hawkins, Manager, Corporate Affairs, CSA Group. “Be sure you’ve checked your gas fireplaces and heaters before using them and have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, so you can relax and enjoy the warmth this autumn.”

CSA Group, a leader in product safety standards, testing and certification, offers you the following tips to help keep warm and safe this fall:

Important home safety:

  • Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless and lethal gas that can occur when there is incomplete combustion or poor venting. Homes that use fuel burning appliances, such as a fireplace, space heaters or a furnace, should have a carbon monoxide alarm in addition to a smoke alarm. Look for a certification mark, such as the CSA Group mark, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation and maintenance of your alarms.

Smoke Alarms:

  • Choose a suitable power source: battery, plug-in or hardwired. Some plug-in and hardwired models have a battery backup so that the alarm will sound even if the electrical power is shut off.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home.
  • Change the batteries at least twice a year. A good reminder is to change your batteries each time you reset your clocks at the beginning and end of Daylight Savings Time.

General gas appliances:

  • Installation, maintenance and repair of gas appliances should only be done by a qualified professional service person.
  • Due to high temperatures and risk of ignition, do not store or use combustible materials, such as chemicals, paint, rags, clothing, draperies, paper, cleaning products, gasoline or flammable vapours and liquids in the vicinity of gas appliances.

Gas furnace maintenance:

  • Have a qualified heating contractor perform a yearly maintenance check of your furnace and ventilation system.
  • Clean or replace your furnace filter frequently during the heating season.

Gas fireplace maintenance:

  • If the pilot light or flame goes out on a gas fireplace, turn the gas off and wait five minutes or more (see the manufacturer’s instructions) before attempting to relight the fireplace. This allows time to clear the fireplace of gas, particularly important with direct-vent models.
  • Be alert for unusual odours or flames when your gas fireplace is on, often indicating that the fireplace is not operating properly. In such cases, contact your dealer or licensed technician for servicing. Contact the gas company or emergency services if you smell gas when the unit is off.
  • Keep children, pets and combustibles away from hot glass surfaces.

For more tips and consumer information, including a new video on carbon monoxide safety, visit www.csagroup.org/ca/en/consumers/safety-tips.

About CSA Group

CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit member-based association dedicated to advancing safety, sustainability and social good. We are an internationally-accredited standards development and testing & certification organization. We also provide consumer product evaluation and education & training services. Our broad range of knowledge and expertise includes: industrial equipment, plumbing & construction, electro-medical & healthcare, appliances & gas, alternative energy, lighting and sustainability. The CSA mark appears on billions of products around the world.


Allison Hawkins
Manager, Corporate Affairs
CSA Group
[email protected]


October 14, 2014