Gas fires make an excellent addition to any home, they provide a comfortable atmosphere you can feel cosy in. They allow you to enjoy the warmth of flickering flames, without the responsibilities of maintaining firewood or coal. Modern gas fires are clean, efficient and easy to use. 

As with all other gas appliances, there is always risk involved with using gas fires. You can minimise the risk by using the appliance according to the manufacturers specifications and being mindful of the safety features that come with your appliance. Bigger is not always better when it comes to gas fireplaces. A gas fireplace must fit the room of installation. The installer should know that the gas fireplace needs to be matched to the size of the room. Only licensed gas fitters can install, adjust, maintain and service gas fires. Ensure your installer talks you through the use and care of the appliance, and that you understand the instructions. 

Every person who manufactures, sells, or installs a gas appliance must ensure that the gas appliance and fittings are safe, this applies to new and used appliances.

Gas fires have become a lot safer over the last 20 years, with precautions built into the units to stop dangerous situations from occurring. One such feature is the oxygen depletion sensor, its designed to shut off the unit when a low amount of oxygen is detected in the room. If your fireplace does not have enough oxygen to complete combustion, carbon monoxide (CO) will be created. The oxygen depletion sensor prevents this from happening. Most gas fires also have a security measure on the ignition unit, whether the appliance has a direct ignition, an igniter or a pilot flame. 

Gas Fire Maintenance

Regular maintenance also improves the safety of your gas fire. A yearly check-up ensures the connections are tight and clean, the spark ignition functions correctly, and the fireplace itself is free of residue and debris that can build up during normal burning operations. Cleaning the fan also helps to improve air circulation, prevents clogging and provides a warm flow of air. 

Glass Front Gas Fire

Gas fireplaces with a glass front can be hazardous due to the temperature of the glass. The gas fireplace can create a heat output that is a significant burn hazard for adults, children and pets. Some manufacturers provide a double glass heat barrier that has a cool area between the two panels of glass to keep the temperature of the external panel down.

You can lower the risk of these incidents by following some gas fireplace safety tips:

– Use your fireplace for short periods of time, such as hours, not days

– Do not leave the fireplace unattended 

– Turn your fireplace off when its not in use

– Keep pets and children at least 1 metre away 

– Always provide adult supervision

To ensure you operate your gas fire safely, here are some more safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Do not allow children to play with the heater or adjust the controls
  • Turn gas fires off when unattended and when you go to bed
  • Do not cover or place articles in or on the gas fire 
  • Keep flammable items at least one metre from the gas fire, this includes furniture, drapes, books and boxes
  • Window coverings that can be windblown into the gas fireplace should be restrained
  • Gas fires should only be used in rooms with adequate ventilation
  • Do not use or store flammable liquids or aerosols near a gas fire
  • Never attempt to disassemble or service the appliance yourself
  • Do not modify the appliance yourself 
  • Do not operate the gas fire if any part of the appliance is damaged
  • The fire must not be located immediately below a power socket outlet
  • If you can smell gas or you suspect a gas leak, do not operative the gas fire until a gas fitter can completed a safety check. You should also do the following:
  • Open your doors and windows to let air in
  • Ensure all gas appliances are turned off
  • Turn off gas at your mains where possible
  • Do not turn lights on or off and avoid using other electrical switches and appliances 
  • Do not smoke or light a match
  • Extinguish any other naked flames
  • Do not try to investigate the problem or fix a leaky/faulty appliance yourself

At Regency Plumbing, we supply and install Rinnai gas fires. Rinnai is a very reputable brand, they design and manufacture the highest quality gas fires in New Zealand. Rinnai’s gas fires come with a range of safety features.

Rinnai Gas Fire Safety Features: 

  • Flame failure sensing system. The appliance turns off the gas supply in the event of thermal failure
  • Power failure. In the event of a power failure, while the gas fire is in operation the fan will stop, but the gas valves remain open and continue to heat the appliance. The overheat safety feature may then kick in and shut off the gas to protect the appliance. 
  • Electrical fuse. Electrical circuits are protected by a fuse.
  • Pressure relief valve. The valve automatically relieves excess pressure to prevent overpressure in the system
  • Overheat safety switch. When the heater gets too hot during operation, the overheat switch turns the gas off automatically and allows the heater to restart once it’s cooled down
  • Air temperature sensor
  • Overcurrent fuse
  • Spark detector 

If you’re thinking about getting a gas fireplace but you have some safety concerns, get in touch with us today. We can help you decide which model is best for your needs and discuss any safety concerns you may have. We also have a licensed gasfitter to install, service and maintain your gas fireplace.

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