More than 1/3 of Americans use wood or fuel-fired appliances as their primary heat source. If you have a wood stove or wood fireplace in your home, it’s important to be aware of safety precautions and procedures that are necessary to properly operate and maintain them. Both types of systems work in the same manor: they burn wood to create heat. Here are some safety tips for proper wood burning and stove/fireplace maintenance!
- Use only seasoned hardwood. For pellet stoves, burn dry, seasoned wood pellets only.
- Leave glass doors open while a fire is burning and close them when the fire is out.
- Keep air inlets on wood stoves open.
- Build small fires that burn completely.
- Place wood logs at the rear of your fireplace.
- Allow ashes to cool completely before disposing. Place cooled ashes in a covered metal container at a distance of 10’ or further from your home or other buildings.
- Store firewood outside of your home at least 30’ away from any buildings.
- Use woods like maple, birch, oak, and ash – these types of wood get hotter than others and are known to produce less creosote.
- Use wood that is soft or moist. This accelerates the buildup of creosote and creates a very smoky fireplace or stove.
- Leave glass doors open once fire has died out. This keeps air from the chimney out of the room.
- Restrict air supply to fireplaces – this can lead to a chimney fire.
- Burn cardboard boxes or trash.
- Use flammable liquids to start a fire.
- Empty ashes before they have cooled completely. Never empty them directly into a trash can – douse with water first.
- Use wood that is unseasoned (or has only been seasoned for less than one year).
- Try to fix, repair, or install a stove or fireplace yourself. Always hire a professional.
Make sure your chimney, fireplace, and/or wood stove is inspected and cleaned by a professional at least once a year. They will use special maintenance techniques that will eliminate soot and creosote buildup from your stove or fireplace and ensure you are not at an increased risk of fire damage or accidents.
Town & Country is a chimney service provider in Eldersburg, Maryland. We provide chimney repair, fireplace maintenance, as well as some home improvement services. We proudly serve Baltimore city, as well as Baltimore, Howard, Carroll, and Anne Arundel counties. For more information on our services or for questions regarding fireplace and woodstove safety, contact us today!