A wood stove helps keep your home warm and toasty, and also fills your room with the comforting crackle and flicker of a real fire. If you use a wood stove, make sure the experience is soothing, enjoyable and–most important of all–safe for you and your whole family. Because the nature of wood stoves and their flammable fuel source means there are a few health hazards that everyone should watch for, no matter your wood stove’s size or design. Here are a few tips from your favorite NH home insurance agency, Morin Insurance.
Only Burn Dry Wood
Only burn dried, seasoned wood in your wood stove. If you burn wet wood, it doesn’t just create more smoke, it also contributes to a buildup of creosote–a sticky tar-like substance–in your chimney. The creosote can stick to the inside of your chimney where it may sometimes ignite, creating dangerous and hard-to-put-out chimney fires. Talk to your local fire department for ways to combat chimney fires that are appropriate for your specific chimney design and home structure.
Don’t Leave it Unattended
While the crackling of a wood stove can make you feel drowsy, don’t go to bed while the fire is still roaring. Wood-burning stoves should always be attended, as the majority of household fires occur at night when people go to bed without shutting the stove’s air vents to put out the flames.
Stock a Fire Extinguisher
Sometimes, fire can be an animal of its own. Even under the best management, a fire can get out of control. Always stock a fire extinguisher within quick reach of your wood-burning stove. For the best results, the fire extinguisher should come labeled with a rating of 1A:10B:C.
Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector
Wood coals emit an odorless gas known as carbon monoxide. This gas can prove lethal to you and your household, especially because you won’t smell it as it builds up in the room. To prevent this, install a carbon monoxide detector in your house. Like smoke detectors, it will emit a warning sound if it senses carbon monoxide.
Maintain Space Around the Stove
Don’t cozy up too close to the stove. The high heat emitted by the burning wood can cause nearby material to burst into flames. Move back stored wood, furniture, books and other items at least 3 feet away from all sides of your wood-burning stove.
Don’t Burn Trash
Tossing trash into your wood stove may seem like a quick and easy way to dispose of the items, but resist the temptation. Such products may come treated with chemicals, dyes and other substances that can create harmful, toxic fumes when burned. This includes ordinary paper and seemingly harmless magazines.
At Morin Insurance Agency, we specialize in NH home insurance as well as auto, business, and life insurance in Concord, Rochester, Alton and surrounding areas. Contact us at 866-538-2544 for a free insurance quote today!