Safety of a smart switch on a fireplace

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Would it be unsafe or considered "bad practice" to replace a gas fireplace switch with an IoT enabled smart switch?

I would like to think there would be no issue, but, I want to make sure that it's not going to break any fire safety codes in my house. However, it would nice from a home automation perspective to turn it on as necessary, utilizing other sensors.

tbm0115

Posted 2016-12-06T18:06:08.170

Reputation: 1 015

4

"make sure that it's not going to break any fire safety codes in my house" - now you are straying out of IoT territory and into http://law.stackexchange.com/ where they will tell you that it all depends on where you live

Mawg 2016-12-06T18:24:39.003

My main concern is whether such a new technology and openness to automation should be trusted on a fireplace. The openness is where safety comes into play.tbm0115 2016-12-06T18:31:15.603

"Would it be unsafe or considered "bad practice" to replace a gas fireplace switch with an IoT enabled smart switch?"

What is the possible downside here? Forgetting the possible legal aspect, which is off topic here.

Are you concerned about accidents? Or hacking?

Is the worst that could happen running up an unexpectedly large gas bill? I doubt that it would be possible to turn on the gas without igniting it - is that the sort of thing which worries you? – Mawg 2016-12-10T16:21:12.277

Answers

12

There is no 'standard practice' for this sort of application to date. Simple, insecure, remote electrical switching is accepted practice - provided the switch hardware complies with the normal electrical safety regulations.

Any gas-powered device ought to be designed to be safe in unattended operation, with blow-out detection, etc. so there should not be any additional complication from an insecure access path.

Your biggest challenge is likely to be regulatory, considering the manufacturing and installation aspects of the switch hardware.

Unless you disclose this installation to your insurer, you will be providing them an excuse to decline a claim if the worst happens.

Sean Houlihane

Posted 2016-12-06T18:06:08.170

Reputation: 7 357

14

In my opinion, "smart switches" are a natural progression of the current switch. I assume when switch-activated fireplaces first arrived people wondered "is it safe to have a fire that is activated via a mere flip of a switch?"

Use common sense, and treat the smart switch with the same care as you would your current switch.

Lastly, I cannot speak to your question regarding fire codes. However, my guess is there is no current legislation banning this activity.

Joel Brewer

Posted 2016-12-06T18:06:08.170

Reputation: 321

12

As with all smart devices it completely depends on their security level. As such you have to evaluate the security level of the specific smart switch to determine its safety level.

If the smart switch is adequately secured one could reasonably consider it a better solution because you are able to disable your fireplace from without the confines of your own home.

Lastly as Joel also mentions local legal regulations have to be considered, but likely most places don't have such regulations as of yet.

Helmar

Posted 2016-12-06T18:06:08.170

Reputation: 5 936