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i live in a condo building with 9 units. for all intents and purposes they're townhomes (i.e. each one is two stories tall with a fireplace on the first floor and a flue at the roof). the building itself is a converted factory, that was gut/rehabbed in the late 80s.

my fireplace has a gas log in it. it also has a fully functional flue. my neighbors have identical looking fireplaces that are wood burning (that is to say they don't have a readily apparent gas line, and they burn wood in them).

is there any way to tell whether my firebox is rated differently? did a previous owner just prefer the gas log and go that way, or are my neighbors flaunting fire risk and unsafely converting under-rated fireboxes (or their predecessors, rather)?

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  • Call a local chimney sweep and have the firebox and chimney inspected. You will get much more accurate info than "guesses" on the internet. – Tyson Jan 11 '17 at 4:10
  • Clearly that's a requisite validation step. Not my question though. – kolosy Jan 11 '17 at 4:19
  • If you can't find a make/model/serial number then yourself or no one here can do anything but guess. – Tyson Jan 11 '17 at 4:40
  • @JimStewart there are plenty of possible reasons - for example access to free/cheap wood, expensive gas, nostalgia. They're not really material to the question. – Chris H Jan 11 '17 at 8:19
  • @Chris H, yes I shouldn't have made the comment. However, one does wonder about the decision to add to air pollution by changing to wood. I live in a neighborhood of 45-year-old tract homes, each with an enormous pile of bricks in the form of an over-sized chimney designed to burn wood. Most people in the neighborhood seemingly have changed to gas logs, but some people are still burning wood. When they do the odor is strong. – Jim Stewart Jan 11 '17 at 8:29

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