Direct Vent Fireplace Insert: Safety Concerns
With a direct vent fireplace insert there can be a few safety concerns that need to be taken into account. These concerns can be minimized with proper installation and maintenance. There are specific procedures and standards that need to be followed with a direct vent fireplace insert to ensure that it operates as safely as possible.
Excess Gas Buildup
Direct vent fireplace inserts usually burn gas, bringing air directly from the outside and eliminating the need for a flue. However, there have been reports that gas builds up in the firebox if the pilot light has not been lit or goes out inadvertently.
Consumers who light the pilot without knowing about the gas buildup can cause a small explosion that shatters the glass and can cause severe cuts.
As with any fireplace, these direct vent fireplaces generate a great deal of heat. There are extra safety precautions built into direct vent fireplaces so that children or pets cannot actually touch any flame when they are functioning properly. There is an extra piece of tempered safety glass in front of the flame, and many have an optional screen for added safety.
However, the glass and mesh screen do become very hot. Some of the fireplaces are rated as furnaces because of the amount of heat they generate. It is important to carefully supervise children, and teach them to avoid touching the fireplace.