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By Cheryl Landsman, Customer Service Manager, A/R, Collections

It's that time of year again! The snow is already falling in the Colorado Mountains, the days are getting shorter and colder and football season has started. It's time to bundle up, sit in front of your fireplace and read a good book, watch a movie or take a well deserved nap. But wait, before you turn on that fireplace, make sure everything is up to code and safe.

How long has it been since your chimney has been inspected or cleaned? To ensure chimney safety, the best course of action is to have a professional perform an annual inspection and cleaning if necessary. While they are there, also make sure the fan is cleaned and the vents are unobstructed. The fireplace and hearth always look so nice with holiday decorations. Just be careful to keep any flammable items clear of the heat. Speaking of flammable, is your fire extinguisher quickly accessible?

Make sure to keep the glass doors open when burning a fire to ensure air circulation. Also be sure to keep a screen up to prevent the embers from getting out. Never leave your fire unattended and always extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house. Now is also a good time to change out batteries in the smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector, both essential items for any home, especially one containing a fireplace. If you have a gas fireplace, did you know the gas shutoff valves should be installed outside the hearth and within 4 feet of the fireplace? The shutoff valve should never be installed inside the firebox. If a fire blazes out of control and the shutoff is inside the firebox, you wouldn't be able to turn off the gas valve.

Other gas safety tips:

  • Do not open a gas valve without a pilot fire in the fireplace. 
  • Be certain the valve is closed tightly after each use.
  • Close the valve immediately to extinguish the burner bar flame after the logs are lit.
  • Do you have natural gas or propane gas? Propane or L.P. gas is heavier than air and will not disperse as natural gas will. If you have propane, the log lighter bar in the hearth should be specifically for propane or have a propane adapter.

Check out PRIER's gas products on our website, PRIER sells gas shutoff valves and burner bars for both natural gas and propane.

Keep safe this fall and winter and enjoy the warmth of your fireplace all at the same time.


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