We have another week of official winter but the cold weather usually doesn’t get the memo here in the mountains. So stoves will continue burning for a while. They keep us warm and cozy, but heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires during winter months.
Consider the following safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for safely purchasing, installing, using, and maintaining a stove:
- Purchase a stove that has the label of an independent testing laboratory.
- Have your stove, chimney connectors, and chimneys installed by a qualified professional.
- For wood stoves, burn only dry, seasoned wood. For pellet stoves, burn only dry, seasoned pellets.
- Have your chimney and stove inspected and cleaned by a certified chimney every fall.
- Periodically clean the inside of your stove with a wire brush.
Allow ashes to cool before disposing of them. Place them in a covered metal container, kept at least 10’ away from the house and other buildings.
- Keep a close eye on children whenever a stove is being used. Teach and remind them to stay at least 3’ away from the stove.
- Keep anything that can burn at least 3’ away from the stove.
- Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. An interconnected system of alarms is recommended so that when one sounds, they all sound. Test the alarms at least every month.
Stay warm. AND stay safe.