While wood-burning stoves can be a preferred method of heating for millions of Americans, they also contribute to more than 4,000 home fires each year. With that in mind, State Fire Marshal Jeff Hussey wants to urge all Ohioans to exercise caution when using these appliances this winter.
“Wood-burning stoves can be a great source of heat for the home, but they can also put families at risk if not used or maintained properly,” said Marshal Hussey. “It all starts with proper installation and regular, thorough inspections and cleanings annually.”
If you’re using a wood-burning stove in your home, here are some tips to stay safe:
- Wood-burning stoves should be installed according to local codes and manufacturer’s instructions. Check with your local fire department.
- Hire a qualified professional to install stoves, chimney connectors and chimneys.
- Only use stoves bearing the label of a recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
- Never use flammable liquids to light a fire.
- Burn only dry, seasoned wood, and use a chimney thermometer to ensure you’re maintaining ideal burning temperatures.
- Never burn trash, large amounts of paper or small twigs.
- Avoid slow-burning, smoky fires.
- Dispose of cool/cold ashes carefully by placing them in a metal container with a tight-fitting lid and keeping those containers away from the home and garage.
- Have your chimney inspected and cleaned every year.
Additionally, Marshal Hussey encourages Ohioans to have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms installed on every level of the home and inside and outside of each bedroom or sleeping area.
Additional tips for heating your home safely with a wood-burning stove are available at https://www.com.ohio.gov/documents/fire_burningwoodsafely.pdf.