Fireplace Glass Safety

Each year, millions of people enjoy the warmth, comfort and utility of modern fireplaces. Today, many gas fireplaces and inserts have glass fronts to enhance the beauty of the fire. While gas fireplaces and inserts are a great asset to any home, glass fronts can become extremely hot during and even long after operation. Therefore, it’s important to remember, touching the hot glass front can lead to serious burns. Below is information that will allow you to continue to enjoy the many benefits of your gas fireplace or insert while providing an added level of safety against burns.

Safety Tips When Operating Your Appliance

To minimize the chance of burns from hot glass, follow these safety tips:

  • Always supervise children, the aged, infirm or pets near an operating gas fireplace or insert – or one that has recently been turned off.
  • Keep the remote control (if available) out of the reach of children.
  • Install a switch lock to prevent children from turning on the appliance.
  • Make sure family members and guests are aware that the glass panel of a gas fireplace or insert can be extremely hot.
  • Wait for the appliance and glass panel to cool down before allowing anyone to get near it. Cool down can take a long time – an hour or more. Some appliances turn on and off automatically with a thermostat, in which case may not know when the fire turned off. Always consider the glass as potentially hot.
  • Be aware that metal surfaces on or around the fireplace may also get hot.
  • Always read the owner’s manual and follow operating warnings and instructions.

Safety Products for Existing Fireplaces and Inserts

While following the safety tips can provide an extra margin of safety consumers with existing fireplaces or inserts should consider installing a protective screen or physical barrier to further reduce the risk of serious burns by preventing direct contact with hot glass. This is especially important for homes where children and at risk individuals are present. Safety products come in various forms, including:

  • Free-standing safety gates are barriers set up to prevent access.
  • Free-standing fireplace safety screens are set back from the fireplace front to prevent direct access.
  • Attachable safety screens fasten to the front of the fireplace to create an air space between the hot glass and the screen. IMPORTANT NOTE: Aftermarket safety screens that attach to the fireplace or insert could adversely affect the safe operation of your unit. Contact the safety screen manufacturer to verify that the safety screen is approved by the fireplace manufacturer for your product.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Not all screens are designed for safety and may be decorative only. Monessen recommends using an attached, certified safety screen when available.

Safety products for glass-front fireplaces and inserts are evolving as new technologies and safety tests are developed. All gas-fired, certified fireplaces manufactured after January 1, 2015 will be required to have an installed safety screen. Rigorous testing will ensure these safety screens are effective in preventing serious burns.

Tips on Purchasing Aftermarket Safety Products

When shopping for aftermarket safety products, keep these tips in mind:

  • Proper fitting of a safety device is important, so ask an expert. Speak with a hearth specialty retailer in your area. Click here to find a retailer in your area.
  • Install a device that is sturdy and stable so it cannot be removed, pushed or pulled over by a child or pet.

More Information

For a handy checklist of steps to take to ensure your family’s safety, download this Gas Fireplace and Insert Safety Checklist published by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association: HPBA Safety Checklist