Home Safety Council Applauds Excellent Safety Record of Vent-Free Appliances PDF Print E-mail

hsc.gifArlington VA. – July 1, 2007 – Having a safe home is vital to every American, and that is what the Home Safety Council (HSC) is all about. As the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to preventing home related injuries, the HSC is committed to helping Americans to be safer at home.

As part of its heating-season safety outreach, the HSC is working to raise awareness – starting with safety professionals – about one of the country’s fastest-growing sources of supplementary home heating: vent-free gas heating appliances. The Vent-Free Gas Products Alliance has teamed up with the HSC to create special vent-free gas heating appliance content on the HSC’s Expert Network, including a new guide designed to inform fire and life safety educators about the products and their built-in safety components. The HSC’s Expert Network is an important online resource, serving more than 5,000 safety education professionals across the country.

Vent-free gas appliances are the highly efficient space heaters, fireplaces, logs, and inserts that operate on natural gas or propane to provide supplementary heating in over 17 million American homes. Because vent-free appliances do not require venting to the outside, they can safely be placed practically anywhere in a home with access to a gas line.

The Vent-Free Alliance’s affiliation with the Home Safety Council was launched in February 2007 with the publication of an article titled “Vent-Free Gas Appliances – Know the Facts,” by Mary S. Carson, Program Director for the Vent-Free Alliance, in the HSC’s online issue of The Bottom Line. The exclusive monthly column is bylined by leading national experts. Because of the products’ outstanding safety record, HSC worked with the Vent-Free Alliance to create a new vent-free gas appliance safety guide that will be posted on the Expert Network (www.homesafetycouncil.org/expertnetwork) prior to the heating season to provide fire and life safety educators with important detailed information about vent-free gas appliances for homes. The Expert Network, which provides a wide range of free materials to support fire and life safety education outreach at the community level, also has a link to a PowerPoint presentation about vent-free supplemental gas heating appliances.

“Increasing public awareness of vent-free appliances’ outstanding 26-year safety record gives many American consumers an important new home heating option,” said Sue Walker, Chairman of the Vent-Free Gas Products Alliance. “The Vent-Free Alliance is delighted to team up with the Home Safety Council to inform fire and life safety educators throughout the country about the proven safety features that have made vent-free gas products safe and reliable for heating in American homes.”

All U.S. gas code groups and 49 states allow the sale and installation of vent-free appliances. Every vent-free gas product sold in the U.S. is equipped with a precision-engineered Oxygen Detection Safety-Pilot (ODS), which automatically shuts off the gas supply if the oxygen level in the room approaches a defined minimum set by American National Standard (ANSI) Z21.11.2. Because of this and other vent-free safety features, there is no need to  open a window to ventilate a vent-free gas heating appliance. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has stated that it is not aware of any documented incident in the CPSC In-Depth Investigation (IDI) database of fatal CO poisoning associated with an ODS-equipped vent-free gas heating product.

With a vent-free gas appliance, all that is needed is a gas line for 99.9 percent energy efficient heat. In a vent-free fireplace, no heat is lost up the chimney because the damper is closed. Vent-free products range from 5,000 to 40,000 Btu – including 8,000 to 10,000 Btu units for bedrooms and 2,000 to 6,000 Btu units for bathrooms. For vent-free fireplaces and log sets, homeowners can choose from such wood styles as driftwood, oak, weathered oak, maple, pine, aspen, birch, and many others. With no wood to haul or ashes to clean out, homeowners appreciate the convenience, savings of time and effort, and ease of use of vent-free gas products. Vent-free logs are ideal for a quick installation in an existing fireplace.

The Vent-Free Gas Products Alliance is a coalition of members of GAMA – a national trade association representing more than 200 manufacturers of space heating and water heating appliances and equipment all certified to national ANSI standards.

For a free copy of the new Consumer Guide to Vent-Free Gas Products – which includes detailed sizing guidelines, and the results of independent studies on indoor relative humidity and indoor air quality – and other new publications on energy- and cost-savings, write to the Vent-Free Gas Products Alliance, 2107 Wilson Blvd., Suite 600, Arlington, VA 22201, email to ventfree@gamanet.org, or visit www.ventfree.org.