Fireplace manufacturers have agreed to add screens to the glass doors of gas fireplaces to prevent serious burns to an estimated 200 children ages 5 and younger each year. The new voluntary rule doesn’t come into effect until January 2015 yet companies are stepping up and providing customers with screens that can be purchased long before then in order to keep their children safe this winter season. Contact your gas-fireplace manufacturer to see if they sell a screen that fits their fireplace or if they can recommend one from an aftermarket maker.
Safety consultant Carol Pollack-Nelson got the ball rolling on this when she sent the CPSC a petition asking them to require the industry to protect consumers from the glass. Approximately 11 million homes in the United States have gas fireplaces yet almost 6 million of these households were unaware of the doors’ burn risks.
Always keep in mind these safety tips when around gas fireplaces, stoves or inserts
• Supervise children, the elderly, disabled and pets when around a fireplace, stove or insert that was recently turned off
• Keep any remote control out of the reach of children
• Install a switch lock to prevent children from turning it on
• Make sure family members and guests are aware a gas fireplace, stove or insert’s glass panel can be very hot
• Wait for the appliance to cool down before allowing anyone near it (cooling down can take an hour or more)
• Be aware that metal surfaces, including door frames and grills, can also get hot
• Read the owner’s manual and follow instructions