There is nothing quite like sitting in front of a nice wood burning stove on a cold night. Another good thing about wood burning stoves is that they also provide you with the perfect heating alternative when there is a power outage.
This being said, there are some very important safety factors that you need to consider when choosing this type of heat source.
Watch the Surroundings
When it comes to actually installing your wood burning stove, you need to make sure that it meets the proper clearance requirements that are specified by your local fire department. In most cases it will be stated that the wood burning stove be at least 3 feet away from any drapes, furniture and other items.
The surrounding area should be free of clutter as the embers from the fire can land on any nearby items and ignite a fire.
Watch the Wood
Burning the wrong types of wood can greatly increase the chances of a fire occurring. The best material to burn in a wood burning stove is dry wood that has been seasoned for at least 6 months. Trying to burn unseasoned or wet wood increases the chances of creosote forming which is a highly inflammable byproduct of incomplete combustion of firewood.
Have the Chimney Cleaned
You should have the chimney professionally cleaned at least once per year to remove any soot and creosote that has built up and reduce the risk of an accidental fire.
Only Burn Wood
It is never safe to burn anything other than what is intended for the stove. Many people will often burn paper or trash as a means of quickly getting a fire started but these can release toxic gases.
Never Leave Children and Pets Unsupervised
You should make sure that all pets and children are kept at a safe distance from the wood burning stove. Installing a safety gate around the wood burning stove is an effective way of maintaining a boundary.
Dispose of Ashes Properly
After a fire has died out, collect the ashes in a metal container. You can wet the ashes to subdue any remaining embers. Dispose of the ashes outdoors, away from trees and plants.
Smoke Alarms/Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Any home that uses a wood burning stove must have a working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector. These devices warn you in times of danger and can save your home and family. Also keep a fire extinguisher nearby.