Every year, millions of people enjoy the warmth and ambiance of a gas or propane fireplace, stove, or insert. While these appliances add warmth, comfort, and beauty to your home, the glass is extremely hot during operation and continues to remain so, even up to one hour after it has been turned off. Touching the glass can result in serious burns.
After more than 4 years of research, testing, and discussion on how to reduce the potential hazard posed by hot glass surfaces to children, and other at-risk people, the fireplace industry has developed a new standard that has been approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
Beginning January 1, 2015 all newly manufactured glass-fronted gas appliances (gas fireplaces, stove and inserts) will require a protective barrier if their glass surface temperature exceeds 172 degrees Fahrenheit.
This safety standard requires that the screen barrier must be in place when the fireplace is installed. Having the screen barrier on the fireplace will reduce the likelihood of someone touching or coming into contact with the hot glass. The standards do not apply to wood-burning fireplaces which are not as hot but can still cause serious burns. With wood-burning fireplaces the same considerations for safety should voluntarily be applied.
If you already have a gas fireplace and it does not have a screen you have a few options:
- You are not required to do anything; but you can make guests aware of the hot glass and do not leave children unattended.
- You can buy a freestanding screen to put in front of your fireplace.
- If you know the manufacturer’s name and model of your fireplace, you may be able to buy a retrofit screen.
Whether you are buying a new gas fireplace or insert or have an existing one – always think safety first and enjoy!