Cozy Vibes: How to Light a Gas Fireplace

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The weather outside may be chilly, but a roaring fireplace will have you feeling cozy in no time. Gas fireplaces make it simple to start a fire by using a control panel, key, remote, or switch depending on the model.
Sparking a fire in your fireplace will depend on the exact kind you have, but most use a control panel, key, remote, or wall switch.
A flickering fireplace creates a comforting atmosphere in any home. To keep you safe while using your fireplace, licensed insurance broker and comparison app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about getting your gas fireplace ready to combat the cold.

Safety First

Before you get a fire going, you’ll need to make sure all safety precautions are being followed. Your owner's manual will have any specific instructions for the model of your fireplace.
While the fireplace is on, all flammable objects need to be at least three feet away at all times. Make sure no one touches the glass on the fireplace, either!
In terms of maintenance, you should have your fireplace inspected every year to ensure it is working properly. It’s also important to have functioning carbon monoxide alarms in your home. If you’re trying to turn on your fireplace and smell gas, you need to turn off the supply, exit the home, and call a professional
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How to turn on a gas fireplace using a control panel

It’s common for modern fireplace models to utilize a control panel to ignite and control their fires. Control panels are usually located behind a decorative panel or screen. Here are the simple instructions to operate a gas fireplace using a control panel:
  • Take off the panel or screen so you can access the control panel
  • Find the control knob that says “pilot,” “on,” and “off.” (If it was on beforehand, turn it off and wait at least five minutes before continuing)
  • Open the gas shutoff valve if your fireplace has one—its switch or knob is typically located parallel to the gas line
  • Set the control knob to “pilot,” then push the knob in to start the gas flow
  • Press the ignition switch (usually a red button) once every second until the fire ignites
  • Keep pressing down on the ignition switch for at least 30 seconds to make sure your fire stays lit
  • Let go of the knob, turn it to the “on” position, and recover the panel

Turning on a fireplace using a key

Sometimes, gas fireplaces are turned on using a metal key. Follow these steps to light a fire in a model using a key:
  • Take off the outer cover to the fireplace so you can access the burner
  • Find the small, round metal keyhole in front of the fireplace on the floor or the wall nearby.
  • Insert the key until it locks in place
  • Click on a long lighter and hold it near the pilot burner
  • Turn the key counterclockwise to get the gas flowing and light the pilot
  • Rotate the key in the slot to control flame height

How to start a gas fireplace by remote or switch

Some fireplace models use electricity to light and control their flames. These kinds of gas fireplaces are incredibly easy to operate—you should only need to push a button or flip on a switch. Just remember that if your power is out, your fireplace will not work since it is controlled by electricity. 

How to turn off a gas fireplace

Turning off a gas fireplace is fairly easy no matter what model you have. If your fireplace is controlled by a control panel, turn the control knob to the “off” position and close the gas valve.
For gas fireplaces controlled by a key: insert the key in the slot, then turn it until the gas valve closes and the pilot flame goes out. 
For other models, just push the off button or flip the switch back to off!

What if my fireplace won’t start in the first place?

If your gas fireplace isn’t starting, there are a few things you can do at home. First, check if the pilot light is lit or not. You also should make sure that the gas valve is open and not closed. 
Low power can affect your fireplace, as well. Test the batteries in the remote if your fireplace is remote-controlled, or you can check to see if you have a tripped breaker.
If you have eliminated all of the above, it’s time to call in an expert.

Protecting your home with affordable insurance

Your fireplace can help protect you from the cold during the winter months, and the right insurance can protect your home from perils and losses. Jerry makes finding home insurance easier than ever.
After you answer a few questions, you’ll get quotes from trusted providers with the coverages you need and the most savings. You can save even more money on your insurance payments when you bundle your homeowners policy with your car insurance!
 “It never occurred to me to look for more insurance quotes, but I’m so happy I saw Jerry. After using the app, I am saving $2000+ a year through my new Progressive plan. It blew my mind!” —Jarod M. 


Yes, the chimney vent should be open when the fireplace is on. The chimney vent gets the carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide emitted by the fireplace out of the house and away from anyone inside.
If you smell gas near your fireplace, the pilot may be out or there is a gas leak. Turn off the gas supply to the fireplace, leave your house, and contact a professional to come to take a look.

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