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.