WOOD STOVE SAFETY
FACT SHEET

FThe first step to ensuring safety with a wood stove is to choose an EPA 1990 or a CSA B415 certified wood stove. Your wood stove should be installed by a WETT (Wood Energy Technician Training) certified member to ensure proper installation and increased safety.

FBe sure to read and keep your operation and installation manuals for future reference.

FThe proper size stove should be chosen for your home. A bigger stove does not mean a better stove. In fact, smaller stoves generally burn cleaner and use less fuel. The stove should be located in the proper space in your home. It should be put in the area in which you are trying to heat.

FYour wood should be properly seasoned for efficient and safe burning. The wood should be cut to a proper length, split and stacked in a criss-cross formation and left to dry for at least six months. Your wood should be kept off of the ground and loosely covered during the drying process. Proper seasoning can reduce your wood consumption by as much as 25%.

FYou should never burn wood that is wet, green, painted or pressure treated and never burn driftwood.

FWhen using your wood stove overnight, fuel must be properly loaded to avoid a smouldering fire. The coals should be raked towards the air inlet and larger pieces of wood placed in the firebox behind the coals. Open the air inlets fully for 15 to 30 minutes. When the outer pieces have acquired a thick layer of charcoal, reduce the air supply to the desired level.

FTo ensure the continued safety of your wood stove, periodic inspection of the stove is essential. The chimney should be cleaned at least once a year by a WETT-certified professional chimney sweep.

FNever dry your kindling wood on top of your wood stove as it could easily ignite.

FIn some wood stoves, when a fire is first started, the chimney is not warm enough to properly draw the combustion products to the outdoors. As a result, a negative pressure may be produced and lead to a back-drafting of combustion products (smoke and gases) back into the home. This pollutes the indoor air.

FWhen disposing of the ashes accumulated in your wood stove, be sure to empty them into a metal container. Do not use cardboard or plastic as the ashes could re-ignite days after the fire has ended. In case of a chimney fire call your local fire department (911). Be sure to have your chimney inspected before re-lite.

FThere are many safety tools that can be added to your home for added safety. For example, every home should be equipped with a smoke detector, you can install a CO detector and attach a temperature gauge to your stove.