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Wood Stove Safety

Wood stove safety is an important consideration for your home.  Don’t wait until you start burning to get the right procedures and equipment in place, do it before you start.

Of course, you should have proper home fire safety systems in place before you start.  These include smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.  Remember to check the batteries on those detectors.  You should also have a proper escape plan for your family.  These should be in place regardless of if you use wood heat or not. 

Once those are in place, you’ll want to make sure your stove has a proper installation.  A poor setup is a leading cause of fire incidents.  Check that your heater is in compliance with the local codes and recommended clearances set out by the manufacturer.  They are set for safety and most efficient operation.  Having flammable objects too close is a hazard.  Poor ventilation and spacing can cause issues with starting fires and cause excessive smoke. 

Be sure to properly clean your stove as well.  Excessive creosote can block the chimney and pipe lines, and impede air flow out.  This will cause weak fires in the box, or chimney fires. Chimneys should also be cleaned once a year at least. 

Obviously, steel and iron metal objects, when heated, will get hot.  Be sure to keep small children and pets away.  Consider getting grating or child safe screens around the stove to prevent accidental burning.  Metal, especially iron, can still stay hot after the fire has been extinguished.  Keep flammable items away from the stove.  Preferably put them in a garage or another room altogether.

Loading additional wood can be a dangerous time.  Have the wood ready to load to minimize the amount of time the door is opened.  The buddy system helps with this, especially with a roaring fire.

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