Wood Stove Safety: 5 Precautions To Prevent Hazards

Are wood-burning stoves safe? Yes. This article provides safety tips for wood stove owners.

Although heating devices offer loads of convenience, they can be misused or improperly operated. Such improper operation could put the user at risk.

This is why most appliances come with safety instructions.

General Wood Stove Precautions

If you own a wood stove, you should know that safety entails a wide range of things.

It includes how the stove is put to use, proper venting, placement at a safe distance as well as the use of properly seasoned fuels among other things.

These are just a few of several safety precautions that must be adhered to.

If you have a wood stove, you should find the information here very helpful.

Why Safety is Important

Whatever you do, the need for self-preservation is paramount. This instinct applies to pretty much every facet of our daily life. For devices like the wood stove, the need to prevent fire outbreaks is key.

Some accidents have resulted from the misuse of woodstoves.

Basically, safe use of this device includes proper venting, combustion, and the right clearance for stovepipes. These are just some of the safety tips we’ll be discussing shortly.

5 Safety Tips While Using A Woodstove

While heating devices like woodstoves help heat up the home, they could turn deadly when used incorrectly.

Chimney fires have resulted due to misuse of woodstoves. Also, lives and properties have been lost due to the same reasons. You don’t want any of such happening to you.

Here, we’ve provided a long list of safety tips every homeowner should adhere to.

These tips will help with the efficient functioning of your woodstove while also eliminating the possibility of fire outbreaks. Are you ready?

Let’s begin right away!

i. It all Begins with Proper Installation

If you just bought a wood stove, such must be properly installed. Not everyone is cut out for such a task.

In other words, not every user knows how to properly install the woodstove. You’ll need to figure out the clearance needed for proper functioning.

Clearance includes ample distance between the top, front, sides, and bottom as well as the back of the woodstove to all combustible materials.

When in use, there’s a significant rise in temperature that may ignite combustible materials that is too close to the woodstove.

It’s best to have a professional technician carry out all installation-related work on your woodstove. Only then are you guaranteed safe usage of your woodstove, but that isn’t all.

Other safety tips will be of immense help.

Read on for more.

ii. Proper Venting is Crucial

During fuel combustion in woodstoves, a significant amount of combustion byproducts apart from heat are released. These include smoke and other gases.

Of most concern are carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur oxides, and nitrogen oxides.

Adequate venting channels or passageways need to be provided for the escape of these gases as such could be dangerous when inhaled.

Also, improper combustion of wood leads to the release of smoke that turns into creosote and is deposited along with the vents or flues.

All of that and more needs to be taken into consideration when installing the woodstove.

As mentioned earlier, a professional must carry out all installation-related work including the venting system of your woodstove.

iii. Operations and Maintenance

How you use woodstove matters a lot. It has to be used in such a way that the risks of fire outbreaks are greatly minimized.

Here, you’ll need to consider regular cleaning, burning the right fuel, building a fire the right way, as well as avoiding creosote accumulation or buildup.

  • Regular Cleaning

With steady use, a woodstove accumulates all sorts of dirt.

Here, you want to dislodge accumulate ash and creosote deposited on chimney interior lining. Basic cleaning tools like a wire brush among others can be deployed for this purpose.

In terms of frequency, cleaning should be performed once every year.

Part of the cleaning requirements may include using occasional high-temperature fires within a controlled setting to burn off creosote and soot within the stovepipe.

Now, you’ll find tons of salt-based chemical cleaners in the market that make all sorts of claims about giving you a perfect clean. Unfortunately, such claims aren’t necessarily true.

You may need expert help to carry out a thorough clean of your woodstove.

The services of a chimney sweep will be required.

  • Burning the Right Fuel

All wood types should serve perfectly as fuel for woodstove right? Wrong! Particular wood types tend to burn much better than others.

Hardwoods are particularly more efficient when it comes to combustion.

Consider using hardwoods such as beech, maple, oak, ash, and hickory among others. Also, these should be well-seasoned as anything short of that will result in inefficient heating.

Consider storing these hardwood fuels beneath a tarp or shed to avoid exposure to moisture.

  • Building a Fire the Right Way

There’s a right and wrong way to build a fire. It’s common knowledge that starting a fire on a wood stove isn’t automatic. Heating efficiency is greatly enhanced when such fire is built the right way.

First off, wood needs to be properly seasoned.

Next, you’ll need a dry kindling or clean newspaper to start your fire. How big or small the fire is should be determined by the weather.

There are times (such as in milder climatic conditions) when smaller fires will best serve.

With the fire burning, allow the wood to be reduced to coal and drag or rake the same towards the woodstove door and the air inlet. This should form a heap or mound.

If more heat is needed, add a few (about 3 pieces) of wood onto the mound of hot coals and also behind it.

You’ll need a metal container into which ash should be emptied.

Such a container must have a non-combustible cover. The ash should be allowed to sit for a considerable period of time before emptying to ensure it’s totally safe for disposal.

Disposing ashes too early may lead to fires as this could easily ignite when poured on combustible material like leaves.

These are basic safety tips for woodstove owners.

You mustn’t misuse this heating device as could pose significant risks.

Consider making further inquiries during installation on how best to put your woodstove to good use.

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