Information Bulletin 01-05
Gas-Fired Decorative Fireplaces
The Department has recently been made aware of a potentially serious safety hazard. Many health care facilities have installed gas-fired decorative fireplaces. Recent experiences have indicated that the exposed face of some brands and models of these decorative fireplaces can become very hot when the fireplace is in use. The hot face has the potential for causing serious burns.
It should be noted that not all gas-fired decorative fireplaces are subject to this problem.
Some facilities have provided some manner of protection (generally a barrier) in front of the fireplace. This assures that a person cannot readily touch or come into contact with the hot face of the fireplace.
The Department strongly recommends that facilities check the face of any gas-fired fireplace(s) installed in their buildings, including assisted living buildings. If the face of the fireplace is hot while in operation, the facility must take appropriate steps to assure the safety of all persons. The methods for assuring resident safety vary with the design of the fireplace. The most successful method appears to be placement of a screen in front of the fireplace. In placing a screen in front of the fireplace, the facility should insure that the screen does not get as hot as the face of the fireplace.
If you have any questions regarding this Information Bulletin, please contact in writing:
Minnesota Department of Health
Compliance Monitoring Division
Licensing and Certification Program
85 East Seventh Place, Suite 300
PO Box 64900
St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0900
or you may call Mr. James P. Loveland, P.E., at (651) 201-3710.