logs burning in a fireplace

Indoor Wood-Burning Safety

DF Safety Health and Safety Tips, Personal Safety Guide

A wood-burning stove or fireplace can be soothing on a cold winter’s night, but that feeling of warmth and coziness can turn dangerous, fast. 

Two major concerns for potential incidents include improperly installed wood-burning units and/or lack of regular maintenance.

adding wood to a fire stove

Tips for Operating an Indoor Wood-Burning Unit

Reminder to always prioritize safety before starting any fires. 

  • A well-designed area can reduce the likelihood of unintended incident and injury. Make sure your woodstove/wood-burning fireplace is installed on a non-combustible foundation. A common surface for this type of installation is a tile floor. 
  • Regularly have the chimney cleaned and serviced by a professional. 
  • Keep anything that might catch fire at least one meter away from the unit. 
  • Make sure the damper is open to allow airflow before lighting your fireplace or woodstove. The damper should not be closed until the ashes are cool enough to touch. 
  • Do not overload your unit. Burning too much wood at once can cause build up. This build up creates a fire hazard. 
  • Never start a fire with highly flammable materials such as gasoline. 

Additional Considerations

  • Have a fire escape plan and make sure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities. 
  • Have a fire extinguisher in an accessible location and check it monthly. 
  • Check your smoke detectors/carbon monoxide detectors monthly. 

Well, there you have it! 

Stay warm and toasty in a safe manner by following these simple but effective tips.