Are you using these proven safety tips with your wood stove to prevent house fires?
Nothing is warmer and cozier than sitting in front of a wood burning stove or fire place. If you never had a wood stove, then you don’t know what you are missing. Wood stoves radiate heat throughout the room so effectively that many decide to place them in their basement so the heat rises and heats the entire house. This raises the question of their safety.
Are wood burning stoves safe?
The idea of a roaring fire in your home, plus a metal stove that radiates 400 degrees of heat might make worry, but there’s no need to worry. In this article we will put your concerns to rest with some helpful safety tips.
Wood stove installation and location
Since your stove will get very hot, you need to keep a specific clearance from any flammable objects. The magic number? That depends on your stoves installation guidelines. Be sure to read the instructions to keep the required specific minimum distances or clearance between the bottom, top, sides, front and back of the stove and all combustible materials.
Typically, they require a minimum of 36 inches to the nearest combustible wall or object, unless you install a UL approved heat shield.
You have three choices when it comes to your chimney in regards to a wood stove.
- Double bricked wall chimney
- UL-listed chimney
- A factory built chimney
Do you live in an older home? If so, don’t assume you can use your existing chimney. Many are made of a single brick wall, which could allow toxic smoke to enter your home if it develops cracks. This isn’t a DIY project, so be sure to hire a professional. Remember to also have your chimney cleaned and inspected annually.
Venting your wood stove
Since 90% of all stove-related fires originate within the venting system, doesn’t it make sense to get some help to do this right? Be sure your wood stove venting meets the following requirements:
- Made of 24-gauge or heavier stovepipe
- Short as possible
- No more than 2 right angle elbows
- Never passes through an interior wall, floor, or ceiling
- Goes directly into a masonry or UL-listed, factory-built chimney
Finally, if your stovepipe vent must pass through an exterior wall to reach the chimney, then be sure to keep an 18-inch minimum clearance to all combustibles. Since 7% of all home fires are caused by wood burning stoves, don’t you think it makes sense to apply these suggestions immediately if you are looking to add a stove or already have one.
The most important thing you can do is to have your stove cleaned and inspected regularly. Your InsuranceHub agent is standing by to answer all of your questions about home insurance and wood burning stoves.