Can You Still Use Your Fireplace When The Power Goes Out?

Fireplace Comfort During Blackouts: Can I Use My Fireplace When the Power’s Out?

Intro: Picture a cold winter night, the power suddenly flickers off, and you’re left in the dark. If you have a fireplace, you might wonder if it can come to your rescue, providing warmth and light. At RCS Fireplace in Auburn, WA, we understand the significance of having a reliable source of heat and comfort when the lights go out. In this article, we’ll delve into the question: Can I use my fireplace during a power outage, and why won’t electric fans work?

Using Your Fireplace When the Power’s Out: Yes, You Can!

The answer is a resounding “yes” – your fireplace can be a lifesaver during a power outage. Fireplaces, particularly wood-burning and gas fireplaces, do not rely on electricity to generate heat or maintain a flame. Here’s how different types of fireplaces can be used when the power is out:

1. Wood-Burning Fireplaces:

  • Wood-burning fireplaces are entirely self-sufficient when it comes to heat generation. They require no electricity to burn wood and provide warmth. However, you’ll need a reliable source of firewood and a way to safely ignite the fire, such as matches or a lighter.

2. Gas Fireplaces:

  • Gas fireplaces, whether powered by natural gas or propane, can also be used during a power outage. Most gas fireplaces have a pilot light that remains lit even when the electricity is off. This pilot light can ignite the main burner and provide heat.

3. Electric Fireplaces:

  • Unfortunately, electric fireplaces will not function during a power outage since they rely soley on electricity to create heat and produce the visual flame effect. 

Why Electric Fans Won’t Work During a Power Outage:

Electric fans, often featured in gas and electric fireplaces, serve to disperse warm air into your living space, ensuring even heating. These fans are powered by electricity, which means they won’t operate when the power goes out.

Safety Precautions During a Power Outage:

While using your fireplace during a power outage can provide much-needed warmth and light, it’s crucial to do so safely:

Ensure Adequate Ventilation: Proper ventilation is vital, especially with wood-burning fireplaces, to prevent the buildup of dangerous gases like carbon monoxide.

Use Proper Fuels: Only use appropriate fuels for your fireplace, whether it’s seasoned firewood for wood-burning fireplaces or the correct type of gas for gas fireplaces.

Maintain Fire Safety: Keep flammable objects away from the fireplace, use a screen or glass doors to contain sparks, and never leave a fire unattended.

Check Your Chimney: Ensure your chimney is in good condition and free from blockages to prevent smoke and gases from backing up into your home.


In times of a power outage, your wood-burning or gas fireplace can be a reliable source of warmth and light. However, it’s essential to recognize that electric fireplaces, particularly those with built-in fans, won’t provide heat or circulation without electricity. Prioritize safety when using your fireplace, and if you have any concerns about its functionality, consider having it inspected by professionals at RCS Fireplace. We’re here to help ensure that your fireplace remains a dependable source of comfort when you need it most. Stay warm and safe during those dark and chilly nights.