It’s fall, and that means you must be prepared for the colder weather. This includes your home, so you need to ensure that you have the right equipment to help you stay warm. If you have a wood stove or fireplace at home, you will need to be sure that it is safe and can be used without the risk of fire damage.
Cooler Temps Requires Heightened Fire Awareness
Fireplaces are an excellent option for home heating, but you need to ensure that you have the right tools to help your fireplace or wood stove be safe during the fall and winter seasons.
In 2019, residential fires in Ontario accounted for approximately 73% of structure loss fires, totalling around 4,869 residential fires. Of those structure loss fires, 87% were caused by cooking equipment, with close to 546 fires started by heating equipment.
As the temperatures begin to decline and you become more inclined to turn up the heat with either your wood stove or fireplace, you’ll want to make sure you do everything you can to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and cozy.
6 Wood Stove and Fireplace Safety Tips for a Safe Fall and Winter Season
One of the most inviting parts of the fall and winter seasons is getting cozy around the fireplace or loading up your wood stove and enjoying the fall scents as your wood crackles and pops as it burns.
Your wood stove and fireplace safety need to take precedence this season. To ensure the safety of everyone, you should follow these safety tips:
1. Check Your Chimney
The chimney and flue are the primary areas of entry for fire and smoke. Ensure that your chimney and flue are clear of debris, such as creosote, which forms when unburned waste from wood begins to collect on the sides of the chimney. If you notice anything sticking to the chimney walls, clean it out.
If the chimney has been blocked or damaged, you should have it inspected by a professional.
2. Make Sure Your Fireplace and Wood Stove are In Working Order
Before you fire up your burners, you’ll want to make sure your fireplace or stove is in working order. Follow these handy tips to ensure that it is:
- Check that your fireplace or wood stove has a working pilot light. If it does not, it should be replaced.
- Check that the damper is closed. If it is not, it should be checked and repaired.
- Check that the chimney is not blocked. If it is, it should be cleaned out.
- Check that the flue is clean and free of soot. If it is not, clean it out.
3. Make Sure Your Fireplace and Wood Stove Are Ventilated Properly
Ventilation is the key to ensuring that your fireplace or wood stove is safe. This includes making sure that you have the proper space between the fireplace or wood stove and the walls of your home.
Depending on the unit you’re using, you may need to install ventilating filters to reduce the amount of creosote formed in the chimney or stove.
4. Keep Your Fireplace and Wood Stove Away from Flammable Materials
You should also keep your fireplace and wood stove away from flammable materials, such as curtains, fabrics, upholstered furniture, rugs, and other items. Even the smallest of sparks could be enough to start a fire.
5. Use the Right Wood
Using the right wood in your fireplace or wood stove is crucial to the safety of your home. You should use wood that is dry, seasoned, and not rotting. The wood should also be cut to a size that will burn evenly. You also want to be sure you don’t load up your burner with dried leaves and the like because they can ignite far too quickly and increase the risk of sparks flying.
6. Prepare Your Home with Working Fire Extinguishers and Smoke Alarms
You can never be too prepared when it comes to wood stove and fireplace safety. That’s why it’s crucial to have a functioning fire extinguisher within quick reach of any burner. If possible, you’ll want to have several available to ensure that you can extinguish a fire quickly, and give everyone proper tips on using the extinguisher.
You’ll also need to regularly test your smoke detectors to ensure they are in working order. If they aren’t, then you’ll need to replace the detector batteries (or the entire unit should a new battery not do the trick).
Stay Safe This Season with Higgins Insurance
Fall changes are in the air, and Higgins Insurance is here to help you stay safe this season. Whether you own a wood stove or fireplace, or plan to, you should know that you need to take safety precautions to ensure the safety of your home and family.
To help you stay safe this season, Higgins Insurance has some great tips to ensure that your home is warm and protected. Pair that with the right home insurance plan, and you can rest easy knowing that you and your home are protected and covered.