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Health Canada warns of ‘exploding’ natural gas and propane fireplaces

A photo of one of the affected fireplaces in a Fuels Safety Program order signed by a Technical Standards and Safety Act (TSSA) director Nov. 18, 2016.
A photo of one of the affected fireplaces in a Fuels Safety Program order signed by a Technical Standards and Safety Act (TSSA) director Nov. 18, 2016. TSSA

Health Canada is warning Canadians to “immediately stop” using certain natural gas and propane fireplaces made by Security Fireplace in the 1990s due to a risk of exploding glass.

“The relief dampers on these products may not work, which could lead to excess gas being ignited when lighting the fireplace,” said the Health Canada warning released Thursday, Jan. 12.

“This could cause the glass front to explode into people’s living space, posing a serious risk to the safety of Canadians.”

READ MORE: Why it’s important to service your fireplace

When asked for more information, the organization referred Global News to a public safety order signed by a Fuels Safety Program director at Ontario’s Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) dated Nov. 18, 2016.

“Since 2014 there has [sic] been two (2) reported incidents involving the above fireplace where a delayed ignition occurred expelling glass into the living space,” reads the order. “ln June 2016 a delayed ignition test per the CSA standard was conducted on a sample fireplace. During the testing the relief damper on the fireplace did not prevent the glass from blowing out.”
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A TSSA spokesperson told Global News on Jan. 17 the two incidents took place in Ontario and there were no injuries in either case. The TSSA didn’t know where the fireplaces had been sold.

Health Canada was unable to provide additional details when initially asked why its warning was issued to consumers two months after the TSSA order was signed.

“Health Canada worked with the TSSA to issue the consumer product advisory as quickly as possible, following a review of the information provided by the TSSA and the completion of a risk assessment,” a spokesperson said in an email sent Thursday, Jan. 19.

Health Canada has issued a warning about exploding fireplaces that may be a risk to Canadians on Jan. 12, 2017. Health Canada

The original statement said the government was issuing a warning and not a recall because Security Fireplace is no longer in business.

However, a Google search of “Security Fireplace” turns up another company, called Security Chimneys. The TSSA said it has had “several exchanges with Security Chimneys” but Health Canada said the new company has no additional information on the defective products.

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“Security Chimneys does not have any records from Security Fireplace that would indicate how many of the affected fireplace models were manufactured or installed,” Health Canada said Jan. 19. “As a result, Health Canada communicated the risks to Canadians and provided advice on what action consumers should take to protect themselves.”

The fireplaces in question were made between 1990 and 1994-95. Health Canada said affected models are SRGH36, SBGH36, DV73 and DV71 Series. The DV73 and DV71 series were marketed under the trade name Oliver Macleod. The statement said all models bear a CGA and AGA certification mark.

“Any affected fireplaces currently in use should have the fuel supply disconnected immediately,” the statement said, adding no retrofit kits are available and that a licensed gas technician should be called for disconnection and disposal.

You can report any health or safety problems to Health Canada and to the manufacturer or retailer where it was bought.

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