Propane fireplaces offer efficient warmth during the winter but can also cause hazards that can be fatal. Carbon monoxide and gas leaks are possible if proper safety procedures are not followed.
Vented Propane Fireplace
If your propane fireplace is vented, examine the vent to make sure it is not clogged. If the vent is stopped up, there is a chance for carbon monoxide to form in the house. Carbon monoxide detectors in your home can warn you of its presence.
Unvented Propane Fireplace
With an unvented model, regulations stipulate that an ODS, "oxygen depletion sensor," be installed that shuts the unit off if oxygen levels get too low. Check local and state regulations to see if these units are allowed in your area.
The environment around the fireplace should be clear of any clutter, especially things that easily catch fire. The manufacturer's guidelines will give details on clearance room around the unit . Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
If a leak occurs, you should smell something similar to a rotten egg. Lights, matches and the phone should not be used, and everyone should evacuate the premises. Contact your propane dealer or the fire department from another location.
To keep leaks from occurring, the fireplace should be examined and maintained by a trained professional yearly. Use the fireplace only according to the instructions.
- Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Wonderlane
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