Homes with Gas Fireplaces and Children.

Real Estate Agent with Platinum Partners Realtors

A while back I had a nice Town House listed, that had a gas log fireplace.  The young couple that owned it were relocating, and moved out shortly after it was listed. One afternoon I needed to stop by the listing to bring a new supply of listing flyers.  I arrived just as another agent was locking the front door. She had just shown the property to a Mother with 4 young children. We talked for a few minutes, and then they left and I went inside with the flyers.

After putting the flyers in the display rack I decided to adjust the drapes in the living room. While doing that I suddenly noticed the unmistakable odor of gas. It seems that while mom and the agent were looking at the home, the children found the key to the gas fireplace, and gave it a turn. I turned the gas off, and opened some windows to get the gas out. I also removed the key from the gas valve, and put it in a drawer in the kitchen.

I don't know what might have happened had I not stopped by that day, but it could very easily have been a disaster.  It is very common in this area to leave the key in the gas valve all the time. The reason for writing this is to encourage you to keep the key in a safe place, and only put it in the valve when using the fireplace. This is very important for any home that is being shown, and a good practice for any home with a gas fireplace.

Comments (8)

Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT
Hank, I'm not familiar with gas fireplaces, so I'm glad you tipped me off about this.  I thought gas fireplaces used a remote control, but maybe older ones use a key?
Jan 06, 2008 02:20 PM
Hank Roeters
Platinum Partners Realtors - Darien, IL
Gail, A lot of them here have a big metal Key that is used to turn the gas on or off. The valve is built into the wall near the fireplace.
Jan 06, 2008 02:26 PM
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate
wow... it is amazing that you stopped by.  Sometimes here there is a key on the floor, or the wall, or a remote control... all enticing to children to play with. 
Jan 06, 2008 08:28 PM
Hank Roeters
Platinum Partners Realtors - Darien, IL
Thanks for your comments Maureen. It was lucky that I stopped there that day, and you certainly can't blame the kids.
Jan 06, 2008 11:59 PM
Birmingham Alabama Real Estate, Stephen Wolfe - Birmingham, AL
Hank... as a parent with two young kids who has a house with two gas fireplaces I really appreciate this. As a real estate agent who shows a lot of homes and does open houses it's good to have this reminder. Thanks!
Jan 08, 2008 10:36 AM
Mike Klijanowicz
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Perry Hall, MD
Associate Broker @ Cummings & Co. Realtors
we just have a shut off valve in ours!  Our cooktop had a gas leak earlier this year and our builder had to come out and fix it!
Jan 19, 2008 01:46 PM
Carol Culkin, ReeceNichols
ReeceNichols Real Estate - Overland Park, KS
Overland Park Residential Real Estate
What good timing on your part - you saved the day!  
Jan 19, 2008 02:07 PM
Hank Roeters
Platinum Partners Realtors - Darien, IL
Stephen, Carol, and Michael, Thanks for your comments.
Jan 19, 2008 11:49 PM

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