Winter is here. Heating season is upon us. Wood burning devices cause thousands of fires each year. If you or your insureds have a wood burning stove or are thinking of getting one to reduce your heating bills, here are some tips to keep you safe and warm this winter.
- Any wood burning stove or furnace should be factory made and tested by a recognized testing organization (U.L. , ITS, Applied Research Labs, etc.)
- Unless the stove label allows for any other clearance, radiant stoves (one metal wall around the fire) should have at least 36” of clearance to any combustible wall. Any circulating stove (two metal walls separated by circulating air space) should have at least 18” of clearance to any combustible wall. The charging area or door side must always have at least 36” of space.
- Unless the floor below the stove is concrete or mortared masonry, the floor needs to be protected by sheet metal or UL listed stove board.
- Stove pipes between the stove and the chimney need to have at least 18” of clearance to any combustible wall.
- Any time the stove pipe passes through a combustible wall, floor or ceiling there must be either 18" of clearance to any combustible material by use of a noncombustible thimble or a UL listed pass through device must be in place.
- The chimney should be in good condition and either be a masonry chimney with a flue tile or stainless steel liner or be a UL listed metal chimney designed for wood burning.
- The chimney should extend at least 3 feet above the point where it passes through the roof and at least 2 feet higher than any portion of the roof within 10 feet of it.
- Any chimney requires regular inspection and cleaning. This cleaning should take place as often as necessary but no less frequently than 2 times per year.