Woodstove and Wood-burning Fireplace Safety

While wood stoves and wood burning fireplaces can provide savings in home heating costs, there are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind to help avoid potential risks, such as burns, fire, and carbon monoxide poisoning.  Here are our top five tips for wood burning this winter:

  • Keep children and pets away when you have a fire burning, as the outer surfaces of the stove and flue pipe are very hot. (Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from the stove).

  • Regularly remove ashes and properly dispose of them.  Do not to put ashes directly into a trash can.  Ashes can take several days to cool completely. Instead, place ashes in a covered metal container located at least 10 feet away from buildings or vehicles.

  • Have your chimney cleaned and inspected regularly; ideally, at the start of the heating season. It is also a good idea to have it checked halfway through the burning season to check for any creosote buildup.

  • Keep an eye out for any damage or unusual wear and tear, such as buckling, cracks in the glass, open seams or cracks in or corrosion of the metal.

  • Make sure you have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.   You should have both a fire and a carbon monoxide alarm located outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Clare Mutual Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries ("Clare Mutual") specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Clare Mutual. By providing this information to you, Clare Mutual does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.