Gas Fireplace and Furnace Safety Tips From CSA Group

As days turn into night sooner, and as the weather becomes coolerwith each passing day, many people start planning their gatherings with friend and family around indoor activities. To keep warm, gas furnaces and fireplaces become primary heating sources to help keep everyone nice and cozy inside. To help avoid potential hazards, check before use every autumn that these heating appliances are in still in good working condition.

CSA Group, a leader in public safety and testing and certification, offers the following safety tips when keeping warm on cold days:

General Gas Appliance Tips

  • Installation, maintenance and repair of gas appliances should only be done by a qualified professional service person.
  • Gas appliances should be inspected before use and checked annually by a qualified professional service person.
  • Due to high temperatures, do not store or use combustible materials, like chemicals, paint, rags, clothing, draperies, paper, cleaning products, gasoline or flammable vapours and liquids in the vicinity of your gas appliances.
  • Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless and lethal gas that can occur any time there is incomplete combustion or poor venting. Any home that contains fuel burning appliances, such as a fireplace or furnace should have a CSA Group-certified carbon monoxide alarm installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance and use of your gas fireplace or furnace.
  • Control compartments, burners and circulating air passageways of the fireplace and furnace should be kept clean.
  • If purchasing a new gas heating appliance, be sure to look for a certification mark, such as the CSA Flame certification mark to ensure it has been tested to the applicable standards for safety and performance.

Gas Furnace Maintenance

  • Keep vents, space heaters and baseboards clear of furniture, rugs and drapes to allow free air movement.
  • Clean or replace your furnace filter frequently during the heating season.
  • Have a qualified heating contractor perform a yearly maintenance check of your furnace and venting system.
  • Ensure there is free air flow around your furnace and there are no storage items obstructing air flow.

Gas Fireplace Maintenance

  • Children and pets should be carefully supervised, and adults should be alerted to the hazards of high surface temperatures and should stay away to avoid burns or the possibility of clothing catching fire.
  • Any safety screen or guard removed for servicing a fireplace must be replaced before operating the appliance.
  • If the pilot light or flame goes out, turn the gas off and wait five minutes or longer (see the manufacturer’s instructions) before attempting to relight the fireplace. This allows time to clear the fireplace of gas and is particularly important with direct-vent models.
  • Be alert for unusual odours or flames that are not blue in colour 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.
  • Gas fireplaces with glass doors should not be operated if the glass is cracked or broken.
  • Do not clean your fireplace if it is operational or still hot.
  • Do not use abrasive cleaners, and always refer to manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning glass components of your fireplace.

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.

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Anthony Toderian
Manager, Corporate Affairs
CSA Group
[email protected]


October 16, 2012