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.
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.
- 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.