Advocates Push for Federal Gas Fireplace Safety Standard

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Children’s natural curiosity can lead to serious injury when that inquisitiveness leads them to come in contact with hot glass used to cover gas fireplaces, report news sources.

According to an independent safety researcher, from 1999 through March 2009 more than 2,000 children age 5 and younger suffered burn injuries related to gas fireplaces. Industry standards allow the temperature of ceramic glass on gas fireplaces to reach temperatures as high as 1,328 degrees Fahrenheit. Tempered glass is allowed to reach 500 degrees Fahrenheit and annealed glass, 446 degrees Fahrenheit.

Consumer advocacy groups submitted a letter this week to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in support of a petition for a mandatory safety standard for gas fireplaces. The petition calls for a standard to be set, requiring a safety barrier or similar device to be required in order to prevent access to areas that could cause burns if touched.

In the letter the advocacy groups also encouraged the CPSC to include in the standard a performance requirement for the barrier to prevent contact burns from the safety device and a requirement that the barrier be included with the fireplace and not be a distinct unit that would need to be purchased separately.

I hope that anyone who has suffered burns from hot fireplace glass heals quickly and completely. As a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, I will be very interested in any gas fireplace safety standard that the CPSC develops.