As the holidays quickly approach and temperatures drop, the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) remains focused on an industry-wide safety initiative to protect young children, at-risk individuals and pets from fireplace-related burns.

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Launched in 2012, the initiative includes a safety education campaign and a mandatory safety standard for new gas fireplaces manufactured after January 1, 2015.

"While gas fireplaces, stoves and inserts are a great asset to any home, in the past several years there have been reports of burns involving young children and others who may not been aware of the potential risk of burns by touching the hot glass and surrounding panels on gas fireplaces, inserts and stoves," said Sue Crosby, HPBA Communications Director.

According to the 2012 Hearth Consumer Survey, nearly 11 million households have a gas fireplace with a glass front, and more than half of those households currently are unaware of the risk of burns from touching the glass fronts.

The industry continues to engage the media and safety groups to raise awareness of the potential of burns from hot glass and have developed downloadable materials and an informational video to communicate the initiative's safety and prevention messages.

Consumer Safety Tips

As both the glass can become extremely hot during operation and stay hot long afterwards, the HPBA advises owners of gas fireplaces, stoves and inserts with glass fronts to observe these safety tips:

  • Always supervise children, the aged, infirm or pets near an operating gas fireplace, stove or insert - or one that has recently been turned off.
  • Keep the remote control out of the reach of children (if your appliance has one).
  • Install a switch lock to prevent children from turning on the appliance.
  • Make sure family members and guests are aware that the glass on a gas fireplace, stove or insert can be very hot.
  • Wait for the appliance and glass to cool down before allowing anyone to get near it, noting that the cool down can take a long time - an hour or more.
  • Be aware that metal surfaces, such as door frames and grilles, may also get hot.
  • Always read the owner's manual and follow instructions.

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