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Are Electric Fireplaces Safe for Pets?


Having a traditional fireplace in your living room certainly looks wonderful and gives your home an inviting ambiance, however, a lot of homeowners simply don’t have that option. With tight regulations involving new homes not being allowed to build a wood-burning fireplace, it has forced people to look into other options.

Electric fireplaces are quickly becoming a popular alternative. Not only amount people who have been limited by these new home regulations, but by people who are living in city apartments and condominiums. Some people that already have a typical fireplace are also making the switch to electric due to the enhanced safety features.

However, just how safe are electric fireplaces? Are electric fireplaces safe for pets? What are some electric fireplaces safe practices? Let’s dig in and get to the bottom of some of these great questions and more.

Here Are A Few Things You Will Learn In This Post:

  • How many different kinds of electric fireplaces are there? – In this section, we will quickly touch on all of the different kinds of electric fireplaces that you can have installed into your home.
  • How Exactly Does An Electric Fireplace Function? – To understand how safe electric fireplaces can be, it is important to understand exactly how they work to generate heat and simulate a flame effect.
  • Are Electric Fireplaces Safe For Pets? – Here we will answer the important question that likely brought you to this post: are electric fireplaces safe for pets?
  • Are Wood Or Gas Fireplaces Safe For Pets? – It is always good to highlight the differences between electric fireplaces and ones that burn gas or burn wood. This section will examine traditional fireplaces in regards to safety for your pet.
  • What Are Some Other Benefits That Electric Fireplaces Tend To Have? – It’s not only about safety for your pets. There are countless other ways that getting an electric fireplace is a good decision.
  • What Safety Precautions Should I Take When Using An Electric Fireplace? – Here are some tips about safe practices when it comes to an electrical fireplace.
  • Does It Matter What Brand Of Electric Fireplace I Get? – Whether it is for safety, quality, or something else, here we will highlight some of the different brands of electric fireplaces that you might be considering.
  • Everything You Need To Know About MagikFlame – If safety of your pet is a concern, as well as quality of the product, here we will go over some points on why MagikFlame should be considered for your place of residence.
  • How Many Electrical Fireplaces Should I Get? – While a lot of people will be fine with one electric fireplace, there are some circumstances when installing more than one fireplace can be justified.
  • Some Other Electric Fireplace Frequently Asked Questions – Here are the answers to a few more things you might be curious about regarding electric fireplaces.

How many different kinds of electric fireplaces are there?

An electric fireplace can be an excellent heat source and is easily comparable to the heat output of a fireplace that uses a real fire. Of course, there are different kinds of electric fireplaces, and it is important to understand these different types if you are someone who cares about fireplace safety. The four kinds of electrical fireplaces are:

  • Electrical Fireplace Mantle – If you invest in a high end model, these kinds of fireplaces look a lot like wood fireplaces. When you get one of these, you’ll usually receive it as two distinct parts that connect together. First, you’ll get a mantle in whatever design that you’ve chosen. Second, you’ll get the main fireplace unit that fits under the mantle where the firebox would normally be. Because they rest on the ground, often against a wall or in the corner for certain models, these tend to be quite safe. Interestingly, you can also find these kinds of fireplaces built directly into a media console, or at the very least, a TV stand.
  • Electric Fireplace Insert – Let’s say you have an older style fireplace that uses a real flame, but you want to turn that fireplace into one that is 100% electrical. You would then get an electrical fireplace insert. They can easily be installed into one of these old fireplace. These are drastically safer than using the existing fireplace you already have.
  • Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace – Are you interested in getting a fireplace that hangs on the wall or is recessed within it? That is when you would choose one of these kinds of fireplaces. You mount one of these securely with wall mounting brackets and insert the plug into a regular 120 volt electrical outlet that is nearby. Of course, they can be in danger of falling if you don’t secure it to the wall properly. For a little extra safety and a modern look, you can install these partially or fully into the drywall of your home as long as their is space between two studs.
  • Freestanding Electric Fireplace – If you are looking for an electric heater that you can freely move between rooms and plug into a normal wall outlet, this might be what you are looking for. They can look like a fireplace mantle, wood stove, or other design. While it can be cool to have an electric fireplace stove, a freestanding space heater should come with a big warning. They typically aren’t as safe as the other three listed. They are prone to overheating. If you get a low quality one off of Amazon, it can also become both a tripping and fire hazard. If the heating element is exposed and not properly projected, something flammable like paper can catch fire if it accidentally touches it for an extended period of time. A space heater like these rarely comes with an automatic shut-off. For this reason, it is a good idea to stick to one of the fireplaces listed above and always avoid purchasing low end fireplaces off of Amazon.

How Exactly Does An Electric Fireplace Function?

For the purposes of heating a room, electric fireplaces are pretty simple, and focus on energy efficiency. The fireplace sucks in cold air from the room. The air quickly gets warmed by an infrared heater or other device within it. Naturally, the air is then pushed out to circulate back into your home after the infrared heater has done its job. If you want to know how well a specific electric fireplace can generate heat, you need to check the BTU number. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. In short, the higher the number you find listed, the more powerful that particular heating device is.

There are a myriad different ways that electric fireplaces create visual effects of flames. Some can be very tacky and cheap-looking. Other kinds with high end technology like moving flame holograms, can look exactly like the real thing.

If having a fireplace that feels authentic to you is important, it is a good decision to invest in a higher tier fireplace. This will ensure that the fire looks real, the fireplace is safety-rated, and your home will remain sufficiently warm.

Are Electric Fireplaces Safe For Pets?

Now for the important question for all of the animal lovers out there: Are electric fireplaces safe for pets? In short, yeah, high quality electric fireplaces are perfectly safe for cats or other pets. However, keep in mind that all fireplaces aren’t made the same and cheap models from generic companies could have some issues. As long as you get a great fireplace from an excellent company, you shouldn’t have any issues at all.

There are only a few issues you could have for very specific situations. If you install a hanging fireplace and don’t properly secure it to the studs, a pet could easily knock it over and it can hurt your pet and damage your fireplace. It also might be worth installing these types so that they are recessed in the wall to make this much more likely.

If you use a long extension cord with your fireplace, and have a cat or other animal that is prone to chewing wires, you want to make sure that the cord is hidden and protected.

Are Fireplace Safe for Pets

Are Wood Or Gas Fireplaces Safe For Pets?

Both of these kinds of fireplaces can be dangerous for both you and your pets, here is why.

Pets can easily disturb a burning fireplace or knock over a protective screen. This can result into a log that is already burning to roll into the room. Not only can this severely burn your pet, but it can also start a fire in your home.

Carbon monoxide can be a real issue with a fireplace that uses wood as its fuel. These dangerous emissions are harmful to people, and can cause problems even faster for small animals. A fireplace that uses gas can also have this problem, although it is less common. Regardless, even with adequate venting, you can’t always be sure that you and your pets are safe. If you do still use a fireplace that uses gas or wood, you need to make sure your home has the right number of smoke alarms and also carbon monoxide detectors.

What Are Some Other Benefits That Electric Fireplaces Have?

There are a lot of great things about electric fireplaces beyond just their ability to keep your pets safe.

An electric fireplace utilizes a thermostat so that you can ensure that your home stays the exact temperature that you want it to be. The best part about this is that you can control this with an included remote control. Some of the better models out there even have smartphone apps that can control your fireplace.

Electric fireplaces have several internal safety measures. One important one is if the place where the warm air blows out gets blocked for any reason, the fireplace has an overheat sensor. This will trigger a shut-off that automatically happens in the unit and will display an error message so that the problem can be remedied.

Electrical fireplaces are great for people that don’t want to deal with all of the hassle and clean up of a fireplace that is more traditional. They are simple to use and a high quality one will last for decades.

One of the key benefits that electrical fireplaces have over other fireplaces is how inexpensive it is to warm your home. Buying wood and paying for gas will both cost more in terms of heating your home compared to a good electrical fireplace.

What Safety Precautions Should I Take When Using An Electric Fireplace?

Electric fireplaces are already pretty safe to use on their own, especially when you consider the alternative. But, it’s still a good idea to practice some basic safety precautions to make sure you don’t run into any issues.

  • Don’t Use Surge Protectors or Extension Cords – It’s always a good idea to plug an electric fireplace straight into a standard outlet. There is no telling how good a power adapter or extension cord actually is, and some of them actually remove the ground wire connector. Using a cord to reach the outlet or a surge protector with your fireplace can result in electrical issues and even an electrical fire. Just like any large appliance in your home, the plug should go in the outlet exclusively.
  • Make Sure Your Fireplace Is Secured To The Wall – We have already covered how a fireplace that is wall mounted needs to be secured to the studs as best as possible. However, other fireplaces should be secured as well. If you have a mantle unit or an insert kit, take the time to make sure it is also secured. You don’t want it falling out of place or tipping over.
  • Replace Bad Wiring In Old Homes – If you have an older home with old electrical wiring, it is incredibly vital that you have an electrician come and take a look at it before using an electrical fireplace. There is a good chance that they will need to redo a few things to bring it up to code and ensure your safety.

Does It Matter What Brand Of Electric Fireplace I Get?

Generic brand fireplaces need to be completely avoided. They look tacky, don’t work that well, and can even be dangerous.

There are plenty of brand names out there to choose from that are better than a generic brand fireplace: Duraflame, Touchstone, MagikFlame, Dimplex, and more.

Out of all of these brands, MagikFlame is the one that does the best job at creating a realistic fireplace experience.

Are Fireplace Safe for Pets

Everything You Need To Know About MagikFlame

There are several things that go into making a great electric fireplace: realistic visual flames and embers, a built-in heater that can outperform more traditional large electric fireplaces, and the authentic sound of burning logs to accompany the visuals.

MagikFlame excels at all three of these points.

The unique holoflame technology that MagikFlame utilizes, allows you to set the visuals to 30 unique flame effects.

The heater that you can find inside of a MagikFlame electric fireplace can generate a whopping 5,200 BTUs of heat.

With each flicker of the flame and embers that is shown on MagikFlame units, you can hear realistic sounds like that of a crackling log.

Check out the buying guide and more below:

How Many Electrical Fireplaces Should I Get?

The answer to this question really just depends on the square feet of the place you live and the number of rooms you have. If you decide to purchase a high quality electric fireplace with a powerful heating unit, one may be enough for your home.

If you have many rooms, you can save additional money with a supplemental heat system or zone heating. Basically, this is when you effectively heat rooms that have people in them, but leave the additional fireplaces in used rooms turned off. It’s also a good idea to keep the doors shut to these rooms when nobody is in them.

Some Other Electric Fireplace Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are electric fireplaces expensive?

    A quality electric fireplace can have a large price tag. However, like solar panels on your roof or other green technology, electric fireplaces tend to more than pay for themselves due to the energy savings.
  • Can I put a TV over the mantle of an electric fireplace?

    As long as the electric fireplace you have doesn’t blow hot air directly up, this isn’t a problem at all.
  • How many brands use realistic holoflame technology?

    Only one brand does: MagikFlame.

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Are Electric Fireplaces Safe for Pets?