What are gas fireplace starters and are they safe?

A gas fireplace has its own ignition system, using either millivolts of electricity or an intermittent/on-demand ignition system. A gas fireplace starter is actually an ignition device for a wood-burning fireplace. Basically, it’s a gas line plumbed into your wood-burning fireplace designed to make lighting your wood much easier. Usually burning between 20,000 and 40000 BTU of gas, the idea is that an intense flame blasts the wood in your fireplace, eliminating the need for paper or kindling.

Touted as a quick and simple way to get a fire going, many fireplace dealers shy away from this product. Why? Stop and think about it for a minute: Is it a good idea to have an endless supply of gas piped into a wood-burning fireplace?

Granted, safety features are built into gas starters, but “operator error” is also a distinct possibility. Most users do not consider that risk worth it, and that’s the main reason many fireplace dealers do not recommend them.

Incidentally, these devices are not to be used in wood-burning stoves or inserts, and if installed into a fireplace, they must be done by a qualified installer or a National Fireplace Institute (NFI) certified professional. They may also be illegal in some jurisdiction and void your house insurance in case of fire.

Below is a list of fireplace and grill stores that service Virginia (VA)

Manassas, VA

Winston's Chimney Service
11301 Industrial Road
Manassas, VA 20109

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Mechanicsville, VA

Hearth & Home Shoppe
8151 Mechanicsville Tpk
Mechanicsville, VA 23111

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Roanoke, VA

Dixie Building Products Inc.
3342 Melrose Ave NW
Roanoke, VA 24017

Warrenton, VA

Costello's Warrenton Fireplace & Hot Tub
251 West Lee Hwy
Warrenton, VA 20186

For more information, contact your local fireplace and grill store..

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