According to a 2012 Hearth Consumer Survey, nearly 11 million existing households have a gas fireplace with a glass front, and more than half of those households are currently unaware of the risk of burns from touching glass-fronted gas fireplaces, inserts and stoves, which can become extremely hot and stay hot long after operation.
As of January 1, 2015, all newly manufactured glass-fronted gas fireplaces and stoves must include an installed protective barrier if their glass surface temperature exceeds 172 degrees Fahrenheit. This is to protect young children and others from serious burns, according to the Hearth Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA). This safety standard requires that the barrier must be in place when the product is installed.
To help prevent burn injuries, especially among young children, the HPBA has developed safety tips and turn-key downloadable educational material you can incorporate into your public-education programs. The HPBA is asking fire departments nationwide to include the information in future safety campaigns and publications, especially in outreach related to home heating and childproofing.
HPBA’s advice falls into two categories for owners of existing appliances who have at-risk individuals in their homes:
- Exercising greater supervision and caution to prevent burns
- Installing a safety screen or barrier that prevents direct access to the glass
HPBA’s materials include downloadable content, such as brochures and frequently asked questions (PDF), as well as a brief video.