Light Your First Fire With These Gas Log Fireplace Instructions

Gas log fireplaces are incredibly convenient because of how easy they are to light and get started. If you have never used your gas fireplace before — or if you have forgotten the best way to light it — then these instructions will help you light it safely.

So, to get started filling your home with a cozy warm glow, use the following instructions for lighting your first fire in your gas fireplace.

Safety First!

Before even considering lighting your gas fireplace for the first time, ensure that everything has been safely and correctly installed. Consult your gas log fireplace owner’s manual to confirm that your fireplace’s gas lines and hardware have been correctly assembled and tightly joined together.

Adequate ventilation is needed for operating a gas fireplace. Some models require a working chimney flue, while others just need air constantly cycling in the room they are positioned in. Closely check on all installation dimensions and ventilation requirements for your particular gas fireplace model.

Also, be sure to check that your simulated logs are arranged in the proper position. Improper gas log arrangement can not only cause uneven flames, but it can potentially cause toxic fumes or lead to partially combusted gas, both of which are extremely unsafe.

If the gas fireplace assembly appears to have been done correctly, you should still check for possible traces of leaking gas. To check for gas leaks, completely shut off all incoming gas line valves, leave the room and wait five minutes. Then, re-enter the room and smell closely both around the fireplace and around any gas line connections.

If you smell traces of rotten egg-like methane gas, then DO NOT LIGHT THE FIRE. Immediately evacuate the house and call your gas supplier’s emergency service phone number.

Lighting Your First Fire in Your Match-Lit Gas Fireplace

Some gas fireplaces — such as our models from Royal Oak, Madison Split and Mountain Ridge — are lit using a match. Here is how to light these models:

  1. Make sure all gas valves are shut off and in their “OFF” position
  2. Wait five or so minutes for the air in the room to circulate. Use the smell test described above to check for traces of gas. If you do not smell any gas, then proceed to step 3
  3. If you do not smell gas, then you are ready to light the match and activate your gas fireplace. To do so, light a match and then leave it on the burner embers as depicted in your instruction set. Before the match goes out, turn the manual gas valve to its on position.
  4. The flames from the match should cause the gas vent element to light evenly. Some areas of the vent may take a second to light from others. If the vent does not light at all or fails to light completely after 30 seconds, immediately shut off the gas valve, wait five minutes, and begin the process over from step 1. If you repeat the process several times and still have issues, immediately stop use of your gas fireplace and call to have the unit serviced.

Pilot-Lit Gas Log Fireplace Instructions

Some gas fireplace models, like our American Valley line, are lit using a control knob and a pilot light. These controls are often concealed by a simulated fire log located in front of the base of the unit.

To light these pilot-equipped fireplaces, move the simulated gas log placed on the floor in front of the base to access the controls. Then, use the following instructions:

  1. Ensure that the controls for the fireplace are set to “OFF” and that your gas shutoff valve is in the off position. Smell for gas as described in the “Safety First!” section above. If you do not smell gas, then proceed to step 2.
  2. If you do not smell traces of gas, you can now begin to light your fireplace. To do so, make sure again that your fireplace control knob is twisted clockwise and set to “OFF.” Now, fully open the gas line shutoff valve.
  3. Wait five minutes to once again smell for traces of gas leaks. If you do not smell gas, then proceed to step 4. If you do smell gas, use the shutoff valve, and then have everyone in the home exit the building. Call for emergency service as described in the “Safety First!” section above.
  4. If you do not smell gas, you can now proceed to activate the pilot light. Turn the control knob counterclockwise to the “PILOT” position. Press in the knob to prime the line with some gas. If you have lit your fireplace before, you only need to prime the line for five seconds. If this is your first time lighting your gas fireplace, you should leave the knob pressed in for 30 seconds to bleed air out of the gas line.
  5. After waiting 5-30 seconds for the pilot light to be primed, and with the control knob still pressed in, click in the pilot ignition button located next to the control knob. This will create a spark, lighting the pilot light. It may take several presses of the ignition button for the pilot to light successfully. If the pilot does not light after many tries, shut off all gas and call to have the unit serviced.
  6. If your pilot light does successfully light, you should continue to keep the control knob pressed in for 30 more seconds. Then, release the knob. If the knob does not fully release, shut the gas off completely and call to have the unit serviced.
  7. Once the pilot light is lit and the knob is released, you can now twist the control knob clockwise to “HI.” This will allow the pilot light to ignite the fireplace’s main gas vent elements.
  8. Once all the elements are completely lit, you can then adjust the fireplace from “HI” to “LOW” or anywhere in between for your desired temperature, light and comfort level.

Enjoying Your New Gas Fireplace All Year Long

Once you have lit your gas fireplace for the first time, you can repeat the above steps to enjoy a cozy fire anytime you want. If you have any questions about your fireplace or need assistance, then please do not hesitate to contact us at any time. You can also read our gas log fireplace FAQ for more information.