When you are done using the gas fireplace, insert the key into the keyhole and turn it clockwise until it no longer turns to turn off the gas and extinguishe the flame.
Gas fireplaces provide warmth and a cozy atmosphere in almost any home. They burn cleaner than a traditional wood-burning fireplace and produce no ash or soot to clean up. Although many gas fireplaces have a knob or ignitor switch to light the fire, some older gas fireplaces units have a metal key that is inserted into a keyhole which turns on the gas flow to start the fire.
Look around the base of the fireplace and locate a small metal hole; this is the keyhole. The keyhole is usually located on the floor just in front of the fireplace, but can also be located on the lower portion of a nearby wall.
Grasp the handle of the key, which looks like a long metal pole. Insert the square end of the key into the key hole until it stops. Jiggle the key slightly until you feel it lock into place inside the keyhole.
Turn the key counterclockwise approximately 1/2 turn to release the flow of gas into the fireplace logs.
Insert the end of a long butane lighter near the center of the gas logs where the gas tube is. Press the trigger on the lighter to produce a flame and ignite the gas logs.
Insert the key back into the key hole to increase or decrease the height of the flame as desired. Turning the key counterclockwise increases the flame and turning it clockwise decreases the flame.
Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.