Can You Ignite Your Gas Fireplace with Key?

Although operating a gas fireplace is a way simpler task than any traditional wood-burning fireplace, still, you should make sure that you are doing it correctly and maintaining it safely.

Gas fireplace lighting or igniting techniques can vary depending on their models, whereas most modern gas fireplace models feature a knob, control panel, remote control, or wall switch to start the fireplaces. But some of the models, especially older models come with a key.

In today’s article, I will provide an easy step-by-step guideline to operate gas fireplaces that come with keys.

Main Purpose Of The Gas Fireplace Key:

Some gas fireplace models feature a round, decorative slot located near the fireplace or right on the floor where you have to insert a metal key to control the gas valve and the gas flow of the fireplace.

This fireplace key is also sometimes recognized as the hex key to light up the fireplace.

Therefore, the only purpose a metal fireplace key serves is to control the gas valve and flow to ignite the pilot light as the fire starts to warm the atmosphere.

Can You Ignite the Gas Fireplace With A Key?

Yes, only if your fireplace model’s user manual instruction says so.

Therefore, before doing anything further, check the user manual of your fireplace to confirm that it requires the metal key to turn it on.

Prep Work Before Starting Your Gas Fireplace:

Before starting, ensure that vents or chimneys are free from any obstruction and the dampers are wide open. It is also essential to follow the proper safety precautions when using a gas fireplace and keep all flammable objects minimum of three feet away from your gas fireplace fire unit. Also, do not touch the fireplace glass when it is On.

If you just brought a new gas fireplace, you can call a fireplace professional to take a thorough look at it to ensure and guide you on the right way to operate it correctly.

How To:

Now follow all the instructions thoroughly to achieve the best result-

Step 1: Remove The Outer Cover Or Front Panel

Typically, all gas fireplaces come with a glass panel or front cover that separates the fire chamber from the rest due to safety concerns.

Therefore, start the task by pulling the glass divider or cover off the device and completely removing it. After that, put it aside safely to prevent unnecessary damage.

Step 2: Insert The Fireplace Key into Gas Valve Knob

Next, look for the gas valve knob located to the right or left side of the gas fireplace. Once you find the valve knob or slot area, insert the fireplace key into it, but do not turn the key right now. Only turn it on when your burner and lighter are ready to use. Otherwise, it will release an excess amount of gas and cause a gas explosion.

Also, in some gas fireplace models, manufacturers have factory-installed the key permanently in the wall.

So, check your fireplace user manual to ensure what type of setup you have and how to proceed further.

Step 3: Ignite The Burner With Long Lighter

Bring a lighter that has a long enough head to get into the fireplace and ignite the burner without harming your hands. You can use lighters like the
CooAoo Torch Fire Lighter, Midwest Hearth Universal Gas Log Lighter or Foxfirers Butane Lighter Long Lighter Refillable Lighter to light up your fireplace burners.

First, place the lighter’s head next to your burner and drag its fuel trigger. Now ignite the fireplace burner with your long lighter.

Step 4: Turn The Key Counterclockwise

After that, hold the flame up to the fireplace burner and turn the key counter-clockwise.

While operating the lighter, you should put on heat-resistant gloves and be ready to move your hands in case the fire lit up unexpectedly or have someone assist you during this process.

If you notice a gas smell immediately, remove the lighter and open all the surrounding windows or doors to let the air go out of the room. In case you notice an excess gas smell, immediately go out of that room and contact your natural gas provider.

Step 5: Put The Front Cover Or Panel Back Correctly

Now, the pilot light of your fireplace must have turned on, and the fireplace must have started running, so put back the front panel or outer glass cover of your fireplace.

Note that turning the fireplace key left will increase the level or speed of the flames, and if you turn it to the right, it will subdue the level.

What Other Options Are Available To Ignite A Gas Fireplace?

Besides lighting or igniting the gas fireplace with a metal gas valve or Hex key, there are other common ways of igniting the gas fireplace.

Most modern and latest gas fireplace models either come with a control panel, remote or electric ignition wall switch to ignite the flame and turn the pilot light On.

Safety Tips:

  • Ensure that you are familiar with the fireplace unit, how the internal parts work, and have expertise in such technical tasks.
  • Some gas fireplace systems might need you to open the base with a fireplace key. So, check whether you require this step too or not, and if you need it, make sure to use a long lighter.
  • After you insert the fireplace key and the burners lit up with flames, wait at least 5 minutes to ensure there is no presence of lingering or excess gas.
  • Before starting the fire of your gas fireplace, always remember to open the chimney vent first.
  • Make sure not to lose your fireplace key. You can either keep it near your fireplace or in any other handy place where you can easily notice or find it.


Many homeowners often ask for help when they discover that their newly brought gas fireplace has not reached alone and came with a key. All you need is a little brief background knowledge to know and understand how to deal with the gas fireplace with keys.

Hopefully, today’s article was informative enough to let all gas fireplace owners know how easily they can use the key to ignite their gas fireplace.

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