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Wood Burning Stove Fire Safety & Prevention

by Sylvia Miller

The use of a wood burning stove to heat your home or supplement your home heating system is a great way to reduce the cost of heating. Unfortunately, it can also increase the risk of a house fire. If you use a wood burning stove, there are some safety issues that you should quickly address. Here, you will learn what to do to improve the safety in your home in regards to your wood burning stove.

Understand Your Fire Alarm System Options

Prevention is important, but even more important is being alerted if a fire has started. At the very least, you must have smoke and fire alarms throughout your home. You have the choice of using individual units that are not connected to each other, or a whole house system that is wired together and causes every alarm in the house to sound when one detects smoke.

If you have a large home, it is best to choose the whole house system because most of the time, the wood burning stove is nowhere near your bedroom. In fact, many times, the wood burning stove is in the basement with sleeping quarters on a separate floor. This makes it difficult to hear the alarm that would likely sound first if the fire has started at the wood furnace.

Another feature to consider is a chimney fire alarm. A small sensor is placed inside the chimney that monitors the conditions inside the chimney and triggers and alarm if a fire starts or is eminent. If you catch a chimney fire in its early stages, it could save your home.

A fire sprinkler system is another feature in a home fire alarm system. Once the system confirms that a fire is burning, the system activates the distribution of water to the area of the home where the fire is detected. This could put a stop to the fire before it spreads to the rest of the home. If you do not have the money or desire to install a sprinkler system throughout the entire home, consider having it installed in the area of the wood burning stove and the kitchen.

Prevent a Wood Burning Stove Fires

Now that you know how to protect yourself in the event of a fire, you should know how to prevent one. Here are a few tips that can help you do just that.

  • Only burn seasoned hard wood. Wood that is not seasoned will cause excessive creosote in your chimney. Creosote is what ultimately creates chimney fires.
  • Never store your wood directly beside the wood burning stove.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in the general area of the stove.
  • Clean the chimney often.
  • Never leave the door open when the stove is unattended.
  • Empty ashes into a metal bucket with a lid and store it on a non-flammable surface.

Using what has been learned here can help you keep your family and home safe while your wood burning stove keeps you warm. Any further questions about fire safety should be directed to your local fire alarm system installation company such as Eastern Fire Protection.