Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the code requirements regarding fireplaces in new single family residential construction [already under permit]. In particular, I want to know requirements pertaining to screens on pre-fab gas log fireplaces as well as wood burning masonry firepalces, in a living room and/or master bedroom. Thank you.

Installation of a fireplace shall conform to the requirements of Chapter 31 of the County of Los Angeles Building Code.

Approved decorative gas appliances (i.e. gas log fireplace) shall comply with the requirements of the County of Los Angeles Mechanical Code specified for heating equipment and heating appliances. A decorative appliance must be listed for vented use and the venting shall comply with Chapter 8 of the County of Los Angeles Mechanical Code. The installation of a vented gas log fireplace shall comply with the requirements of the listing including clearances from combustible materials.

Section 150(e) of the California Energy Efficiency Standards requires that a masonry or factory-built fireplace shall have the following:

1) Closeable metal or glass doors covering the entire opening of the firebox;
2) A combustion air intake to draw air from the outside of the building directly into the firebox, which is at least six square inches in area and equipped with a readily accessible, operable and tight fitting damper or combustion-air control device; and
Exception: An outside combustion air intake is not required if the fireplace will be installed over concrete slab flooring and the fireplace will not be located on an exterior wall.
3) A flue damper with a readily accessible control.
Exception: When a gas log, log lighter, or decorative gas appliance is installed in a fireplace, the flue damper shall be blocked open if required by the manufacturer's installation instructions or the California Mechanical Code.

  California Energy Efficiency Standards
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