How Safe Is Your Hotel Gas Fireplace?

Gas fireplaces have become very popular with hotels and who doesn’t like a fireplace in your room. If you have never owned one, make sure you understand how easy it is for children to get burned by touching the hot glass fronts of these fireplaces.

Hotels love an easy to use fireplace for their guests and gas has become the popular choice. You also find them in the lobby of many hotels. All you do is turn a wall switch on and it starts right up and heats up rapidly. Unfortunately, since 2006, burn centers across the country have seen an increase in the children’s burns seen on their hands from the glass fronts on gas fireplaces. From 1999 to 2009 there have been 2,000 children ages 5 and younger who have suffered injuries from gas fireplaces, as reported by Children’s Hospital in Colorado. Children are naturally attracted to the flicker of the flame and are curious, but many times they just accidentally fall and get burned that way. Fireplaces are located in the family area of many hotel rooms and that is where kids play. It is much easier to keep children out of a kitchen when the oven is on.

One of the problems is that the glass on the front of a gas fireplace retains a temperature high enough to burn skin for up to 30 minutes after the fireplace is turned off. If you don’t own a gas fireplace, you just wouldn’t always think this is the case. Many newer gas fireplaces do come with fireplace safety screens installed on them, but older models did not. This is the problem. Touching the hot glass is so much more dangerous than touching a hot screen that rests in front of the glass panel. The smooth glass just melts the skin on your hand so quickly that for children, with slower reaction times, the skin actually sticks to the smooth hot glass.

A good safety screen will rest 1/2″ away from the glass and helps to reduce the surface temperature of the screen, but it also keeps your hand from coming in contact with the glass. Fireplace safety screens also provide an attractive fireplace makeover for oldermodel units. So the next time you check into a hotel with a gas fireplace, check to see if a safety screen is installed and educate your children to the dangers of hot surfaces.

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