Chris Dudeck

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Conduct Routine Inspection & Maintenance of Gas Fireplace

Excerpts from Winnipeg Real Estate News Publication, October 9, 2009


Spending time with a book or a loved one in front of a warm and cozy fire is a pleasant experience many Canadians embrace during the colder winter months. Not only do gas fireplaces offer us memorable moments and decorative qualities, they also provide comfortable, economical and supplemental heating for the home. However, before using gas fireplaces this season, it is important to take the time to conduct a routine inspection and annual maintenance.


CSA International, a leading provider of product testing and certification services, offers the following tips to help you prepare your gas fireplace for the winter season:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions in the owner’s manual, or use the care guide for maintenance and use of your gas fireplace.

  • Installation and repair of a fireplace should be done by a qualified professional service person.

  • A fireplace should be inspected before use and checked annually by a qualified professional service person.

  • Control compartments, burners and circulating air passageways of the appliance must be kept clean.

  • Do not store combustible materials, gasoline or other flammable vapours and liquids in the vicinity of your fireplace.

  • Due to high temperatures, the fireplace should be installed out of

    traffic and away from furniture and draperies.

  • Children and adults should be alerted to the hazards of high surface temperatures and should stay away to avoid burns or the possibility of clothing catching on fire.

  • Young children should be carefully supervised when they are in a room with a fireplace.

  • Clothing or other flammable material should not be placed on or near the fireplace.

  • Any safety screen or guard removed for servicing a fireplace must be replaced before operating the appliance.

  • If the pilot light or flame goes out, wait five minutes or longer (see the manufacturer’s instructions) before attempting to relight the fireplace. This allows time to clear the fireplace of gas and is particularly important with direct-vent models.

  • Be alert for unusual odours or odd-coloured flames, which are often a sign that the fireplace is not operating properly. In such cases, contact your dealer or licensed technician for servicing. Contact the gas company or emergency services if you smell gas when the unit is off.

  • Gas fireplaces with glass doors should not be operated if the glass is cracked or broken.

  • Do not clean your fireplace if it is operational or still hot.

  • Do not use abrasive cleaners, and always refer to manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning glass components of your fireplace.

  • Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless and lethal gas that can occur any time there is incomplete combustion or poor venting. Any home that contains combustion appliances such as a gas fireplace should have a CSA International-certified carbon monoxide alarm installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions, If you intend to purchase a new carbon monoxide alarm, be sure to look for one bearing the CSA International Certification Flame mark and CSA 6.19-01 reference mark.

  • In humid or hot weather, ensure that you flip the gas switch to “off.” This will help keep your fireplace in good shape, as well as your energy costs down. 

Established in 1903, WinnipegREALTORS® is a professional association representing over 1,500 real estate brokers, salespeople, appraisers, and financial members active in the Greater Winnipeg Area real estate market. Its REALTOR® members adhere to a strict code of ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) designed exclusively for REALTORS®. WinnipegREALTORS® serves its members by promoting the benefits of an organized real estate profession. REALTOR®, MLS® and Multiple Listing Service® are trademarks owned and controlled by the Canadian Real Estate Association and are used under licence.


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