If you’re among the thousands who have succumbed to the lure of the wood burning stove, keep in mind that the return to the “good old days” of wood stove heating can have some old-fashioned drawbacks.
Fire hazard is one of them.
The resurgence of the wood burner as a supplementary source of heat has led to an alarming—and growing—number of fires traceable to careless installation or misuse.
The purpose of this pamphlet is to help bridge a generation gap in wood stove knowledge by providing some basic information on the selection, installation, use and maintenance of solid fuel heating equipment.
Here are some principal do’s and don’ts:
DO—make sure there is enough clearance between the stove and combustible materials, including floors, walls and ceilings.
DO—place the stove on a noncombustible, fire resistant base.
DO—have a mason or other competent person inspect the chimney.
DO—burn only dry, well-seasoned wood.
DO—consider opening a window a crack for ventilation.
DO—dispose of ashes in a closed metal container outside the house.
DON’T—extend the stove pipe through a wall or ceiling unless there is no possible alternative.
DON’T—connect a wood stove to a fireplace chimney unless the fireplace has been sealed off.
DON’T—connect a wood stove to a chimney serving another appliance burning other fuels.
DON’T—start a stove fire with flammable fluids, such as gasoline.
DON’T—burn trash in a stove; doing so can start a chimney fire.
DON’T—let a wood fire burn unattended or overnight.
(source: Insurance Information Institute)