10 Tips for Keeping Your Family Safe When Using a Wood-Burning Stove

Fire burning in the cozy fireplace | Wade Insurance AgencyA wood burning stove that is not properly installed and carefully maintained is dangerous.

Here are 10 tips to help keep you and your family safe, from our partners at Motorists Insurance:

1.     Maintain the required distance between the wood stove and its surroundings. Many safety codes require wood stoves to be at least three feet away from any furniture, rugs, drapes or other items.

2.     Only seasoned wood should be burned. It is best to use dry wood that has been seasoned for at least six months. This type of wood burns more quickly and lightly which reduces creosote.

3.     Burning a big pile of wood causes incomplete burning, which can result in overheating the fireplace and chimney. It is advisable to first light a small fire and then add small pieces of wood.

4.     Chimneys should be cleaned and inspected every year. This is important to remove soot and reduce creosote formation.

5.     Paper and trash should never be burned in a woodstove.

6.     Never leave a fire unattended. Children and pets should be kept away from the wood stove. The use of a safety gate around the wood stove is advisable.

7.     Keep clutter away from the wood stove. Embers that land on clutter can ignite a fire.

8.     After the fire has died out, ashes should be collected in a metal container. Ashes should be dampened and disposed of outdoors and away from trees and plants.

9.     Never keep kerosene or gasoline in the home, and don’t use either as a fire starter.

10.  All homes should have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.


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