Gas Stoves - Designers and Retailers
Gas Stove Safety Considerations
Gas stoves have been around for a long time. It was Benjamin Franklin who adapted the closed European stove to make it easier and more economical to use for cooking and heating. They grew in popularity in America through the first half of the 19 th century and it was in 1850 that gas started to gain ground as a fuel.
Gas stoves are still popular today and can be found in many ranges by designers and retailers - just ask. Period wood burners are often converted into gas appliances. And don't just think about the style of the stove itself, but where you're going to put it. If you have one, an inglenook - the large all-purpose hearths common in the days when the fireplace was the centre of family life - can be an ideal site for a stove. The flue can be adapted for the gas appliance, and it is an easier way of using the space than getting an open fire going in it.
Gas is a safe fuel for heating if it is used properly, but it is important to treat it with vigilance. If you are renting your home, the landlord has a legal obligation to show you written proof that any gas appliances in it have been approved for safety relatively recently by the Council for Registered Gas Installers, or CORGI (www.corgi-gas-safety.com). Fires and stoves should be serviced on a yearly basis.). CORGI is UK-based but there's lots of other useful general information about gas installation and safety on the website.
And there are some simple safety points which are always worth bearing in mind. There may be a problem with your gas stove or fire if a) there's soot around it, b) there's a lot of condensation in the room and/or c) the flame is weak and yellow-orange. If it's the last it may be difficult to tell with real flame effect fires, which have a yellow part anyway, but the flame may be unusually elongated.
The big creeping danger from a gas fire that isn't working properly is carbon monoxide poisoning. Always make sure the room is ventilated and if you feel any drowsiness, nausea or get head or chest pains while the fire is on, switch it off and call the doctor. If you walk into your house and smell gas, call your gas installer or an emergency helpline straight away – (800)323-5517, or there should be a number with the instructions given by your installer - make sure you know it before you need it. Don't switch on any lights or use a naked flame. The National Fire Protection Association (www.nfpa.org) is one US body disseminating fire safety information.