Gas fireplaces increase a home's ambiance, offers additional warmth and raises the value of a house by five to ten thousand dollars ... according to some estimates given by the head of the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA).

However, industry advocates and manufactures have set new safety standards for them because these glass-fronted appliances can cause injury if an unsuspecting child, at-risk adult or pet makes contact with the super heated glass that can exceed 172 degrees Fahrenheit.

HPBA President and CEO Jack Goldman said starting January 1, 2015, all newly manufactured glass-fronted gas appliances such as fireplaces, stoves and inserts will require a protective barrier if their glass-fronted temperature exceeds 172 degrees.

"What will happen is, when someone gets a new fireplace shipped to either a new home or an existing home that's doing remolding, there will be a barrier included that is tested and specific to that particular fireplace, brand and model," said Goldman.

What about the 11 million households that already have gas fireplaces? According to Goldman, the barriers can be purchased separately and there's a video about them at or

"There are three kinds of barriers you can get in the after market to put on gas fireplaces that are already installed in houses and they are attachable safety screens, free-standing safety gates and free-standing fire-place screens," said Goldman. "Now people who hear those words right now may not know what that is. If you go to the website and look at the two minute video you can actually see what we're talking about and then decide."

HPBA Advises Owners 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 a door frames and grilles, may also get hot.
  • Always read the owner's manual and follow instructions.

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