Wood-Burning Stove Safety
Before installing your wood-burning stove, take time to evaluate and choose the best location for it. Make sure the pipe connecting the stove to the flue is no more than 8 to 10 feet long and that there are no more than two 90-degree elbows in the pipe.
Maintain adequate clearance between the stove and any combustible surfaces in the area, such as a wall, furniture, or draperies. If these types of items come into direct contact with the surface of the stove, fire can result. During installation, make sure to allow ample room for cleaning and maintaining the flue pipe and chimney flue.
Once installed and you begin to use the stove, it should be smoke free—if you see or smell smoke you may have a problem. Contact a local reputable service professional to inspect your stove before continuing to use it.
- Keep all flammable household items far away from the stove. These items include draperies, furniture, and carpets.
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
- Never start a fire with gasoline or kerosene. Only use newspaper, dry kindling, or other natural or organic fire starters.
- Build hot fires—smoldering fires are generally unsafe and not efficient.
- Keep the doors on the stove closed when not loading or stocking the fire. Deadly carbon monoxide can be released into your home when the doors are open.
- Remove ashes regularly.
Keep Your Family and Home Safe
Installing and maintaining smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors is one of the most important investments you can make to keep your family and home safe.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, about 3,000 people die in residential fires each year, mostly from inhaling smoke and toxic gases—not from burns.
Remember that carbon monoxide is deadly. It has no odor and no color. The best way to detect it is to install properly working carbon monoxide detectors in your home. For advice on the best placement in your home, you may want to consult with your local fire official.
Sources: Mutual Inspection Bureau, Inc.; www.epa.gov