Oct 14, 2010, 05:49 ET from CSA International

CLEVELAND, OH, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ - As the season changes and nights become longer and colder, many people will spend more time indoors with family and friends while using furnaces and fireplaces to keep their homes warm and cozy. The fall is a prime time to remember the importance of conducting routine inspections and maintenance to prepare your gas heating appliances for the upcoming winter months.

CSA International, a leading provider of product testing and certification services, offers the following safety tips to help prepare your gas fireplace and furnace for the fall and winter seasons:

    General Gas Appliance Tips
    -   Installation, maintenance and repair of gas appliances should only be
        done by a qualified professional service person.
    -   Gas appliances should be inspected before use and checked annually by
        a qualified professional service person.
    -   Due to high temperatures, do not store or use combustible materials,
        like chemicals, paint, rags, clothing, draperies, paper, cleaning
        products, gasoline or flammable vapors and liquids in the vicinity of
        your gas appliances.
    -   Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and lethal gas that can
        occur any time there is incomplete combustion or poor venting. Any
        home that contains fuel burning appliances, such as a fireplace or
        furnace should have a CSA International-certified carbon monoxide
        alarm installed according to the manufacturer's instructions. Follow
        the manufacturer's instructions in the owner's manual, or use the
        care guide for maintenance and use of your gas fireplace or furnace.
    -   Control compartments, burners and circulating air passageways of the
        fireplace and furnace should be kept clean.
    -   If purchasing a new gas heating appliance, be sure to look for a
        certification mark, such as the CSA Star certification mark to ensure
        it has been tested to the applicable standards for safety and

    Gas Furnace Maintenance
    -   Keep vents, space heaters and baseboards clear of furniture, rugs and
        drapes to allow free air movement.
    -   Clean or replace your furnace filter frequently during the heating
    -   Have a qualified heating contractor perform a yearly maintenance
        check of your furnace and venting system.
    -   Ensure there is free air flow around your furnace and there are no
        storage items obstructing air flow.

    Gas Fireplace Maintenance
    -   Children should be carefully supervised, and adults should be alerted
        to the hazards of high surface temperatures and should stay away to
        avoid burns or the possibility of clothing catching on fire.
    -   Any safety screen or guard removed for servicing a fireplace must be
        replaced before operating the appliance.
    -   If the pilot light or flame goes out, wait five minutes or longer
        (see the manufacturer's instructions) before attempting to relight
        the fireplace. This allows time to clear the fireplace of gas and is
        particularly important with direct-vent models.
    -   Be alert for unusual odors or odd-colored flames, which are often a
        sign that the fireplace is not operating properly. In such cases,
        contact your dealer or licensed technician for servicing. Contact the
        gas company or emergency services if you smell gas when the unit is
    -   Gas fireplaces with glass doors should not be operated if the glass
        is cracked or broken.
    -   Do not clean your fireplace if it is operational or still hot.
    -   Do not use abrasive cleaners, and always refer to manufacturer's
        instructions when cleaning glass components of your fireplace.

About CSA International

CSA International is a provider of product testing and certification services for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas and a variety of other products. Recognized in the U.S., Canada and around the world, CSA International certification marks appear on billions of products worldwide. CSA International is a division of CSA Group, which also includes CSA, a leading solutions based standards organization, providing standards development, application products, training and advisory services; and OnSpeX, a provider of consumer product evaluation, inspection and advisory services for retailers and manufacturers. For more information, visit

SOURCE CSA International