Now that most of us have seen the last of winter.  It is May now, right? It is time to turn off the fireplace for the summer.  Sure the flames are out but a lot of the units with gas log also have a pilot light.  You know for that instant mood setting  fireplace. 

Why not leave it on? You probably did last year right.  The reason I suggest turning it off for the summer season is you most likely will not use it till next winter.  so for 6 – 9 months that little pilot light will be burning and giving off moist corrosive vapor.  This vapor can cause premature corrosion and deterioration of the firebox chimney.  Additionally, the pilot light area will get very hot and small hands could find it too tempting.  So lights out till next snow fall.


The number one reason for a home inspection is safety.  Every builder should be concerned with the new owners safety but he has other concerns.  Like the project budget.  Sometimes the budget fights against taking additional steps to ensure safety.  Sometimes “Good enough” is what you get. 

As an inspector we only have the one concern….you.  This house fire in Coppell Texas 75019 pictured in this post may have been prevented if the buyer had a framing inspection during the building process.  However Thanksgiving turned into thankfully they made it out alive.

A house fire in Coppell Texas
Direct vent fireplace causes fire

 Rodney Livermore is a Professional Home Inspector licensed in the State of Texas TREC #7996.   He can be contacted at (214) 718-6824 or on the web at