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 through the room so effectively that many choose to place them within their basement so the heat rises and heats the entire house. This raises the question of their safety.
Are wood burning stoves safe?
The concept of a roaring fire in your house, plus a metal stove that radiates 400 degrees of heat might make worry, but there’s no need to worry. In this article we'll put your concerns to rest with a few helpful safety tips.
Wood stove installation and location
Since your stove can get very hot, you have to keep a particular clearance from any flammable objects. The magic number? That depends on your stoves installation guidelines. Make 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 a mature home? If that's the case, don’t assume you can use your existing chimney. Many are made of the single brick wall, which could allow toxic smoke to enter your home if it develops cracks. This isn’t a DIY project, so make sure to hire a professional. Remember to also provide your chimney cleaned and inspected annually.
Venting your wood stove
Since 90% of all stove-related fires originate inside the venting system, doesn’t it make sense to get some help to get this done right? Be sure your wood stove venting meets the next 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 come from wood burning stoves, don’t you believe it makes sense to apply these suggestions immediately should you are looking to add a stove or already have one.
The most important thing that you can do is to have your stove cleaned and inspected regularly. Your InsuranceHub agent is standing by to answer all your questions about home insurance and wood burning stoves.