Monday, August 6th 2012
Yes, they are available. Essentially, a starter is just a cast iron pipe with holes in it. The gas is turned on with a keyed valve that is typically located near the fireplace, and lit with a match. The key is removable for safety purposes. Gas starters do not come with safety pilot assemblies, because the intense heat of a wood fire would destroy the delicate internal workings of the device. Gas starters are ONLY available for natural gas – NOT for LP or propane gas, because of the safety risk of heavier-than-air gases like propane puddling invisibly on the floor, causing an unknown ignition risk. Note that natural gas starters are also very handy for heating up the flue – much easier than holding up a torch made of newspaper!