Lighting a gas fireplace that uses a key is a relatively simple process, but it’s important to take all the necessary safety precautions and keep yourself safe.
Before you begin, make sure the flue and chimney are open and that the area around the fireplace is clear of anything flammable. If you haven’t run the fireplace in a while, your kids might have stuffed some crayons or something in there. Make sure you take those out!
You should also have a barbecue lighter or similar device with a long handle available so you’re not too close to the flames.
Once you’re ready to go, the lighting process is fairly simple if your gas fireplace uses an old-school wall key. Here’s a demo video I made that shows the process with my own gas fireplace.
Lighting the Fireplace
Time needed: 3 minutes
Here is the exact process I use to light a gas fireplace with a wall key
- Find your keyhole
This is where the key will go to open the valve. It’s often a deep, circular hole in the wall beside the fireplace. Mine is about 2 feet to the left of my fireplace. In some cases, the keyhole might be hidden behind a decorate element, or it could be right beside the fireplace itself.
- Locate Your Key
Find the key that goes with your fireplace. It’s usually a long metal rod with a square piece at one end, and a key-like handle at the other end. It might be chained near your fireplace, or stored with your fireplace tools.
- Light Your Lighter and Hold it Under Your Logs
Before you do anything with the key, get your lighter ready! Remember to use a long-handled barbecue lighter or match. Light it, and hold it under the logs in your fireplace with one hand. Make sure your hand isn’t too close to the fireplace itself. You can also have a friend or helper hold the lighter.
- Insert and Turn the Key
Insert the key into the keyhole. You might need to push it in pretty deep. Move the key around until you feel it catch on the valve inside the keyhole.
Once it’s caught and you feel tension when you try to spin it, gently spin the key about 1/2 turn counterclockwise to open the gas valve. Gas should begin to flow. Again, your lighter should be lit under the fireplace logs already. The logs should light quickly.
If they don’t immediately light, close the valve immediately using your key to ensure that gas does not continue to flow.
- Enjoy Your Fireplace
Your fireplace should now be lit and ready for you to enjoy! You can adjust the flame by turning the key clockwise to lower the flame or counterclockwise to raise it.
Switching the Fireplace Off
When you’re finished, make sure to turn the key all the way clockwise to shut off the gas. It’s also important to sniff around the fireplace to ensure that no gas is leaking out.
Once the fireplace has cooled off, remove the key and store it in a safe spot. With these steps followed, you can enjoy a cozy fire with peace of mind.
If you have any concerns about your ability to safety light your gas fireplace, don’t try! Bring in a helper or professional who can assist you.