Wood Stoves / Gas Appliances
Precautions for Wood-Burning Stoves
The following maintenance and safety precautions for freestanding solid-fuel-burning appliances (wood-burning stoves) are courtesy of the City of Gunnison fire marshal:
- Check the stove for cracks or damage.
- Assure proper clearances from combustibles have been observed. Use your manufacturers specifications to assure this if your appliance is either U.L. or I.C.B.O. listed. If not listed, maintain a 36 inches clearance from combustibles.
- Keep paper, wood, curtains, furniture, or other combustible materials 36 inches away from your stove.
- Check all connections in your metal chimney and flue pipe to assure they are all connected properly and not loose.
- Check your chimney and flue pipe for creosote build-up (a by-product of combustion). If there is more than a 1/4 inch of build-up you are running the risk of a chimney fire, therefore, you must clean your chimney from top to bottom.
- Check your fire box for creosote build-up also, if there is any, brush it out.
- Check your rain cap to assure it isn't plugged, which causes smoke to enter the house.
- Make sure you haven't gone from a listed metal double or triple wall chimney pipe back to a single wall pipe above the roof, this will cause greater amounts of creosote build-up.
- Make sure your listed double or triple wall chimney pipe maintains its 2-inch clearance from combustibles, this goes for any type of insulation also.
- If the appliance is vented into an existing chimney, inspect chimney for missing mortar, loose mortar joints and cracked bricks. Also assure connection into the masonry chimney is secure and free of leaks. Repair any defects.
- Assure proper clearance of single wall pipe is maintained. In many cases it is required that you have a minimum of 18 inches of clearance from combustibles. Do not penetrate a combustible ceiling or wall with only a single wall pipe.
- Make sure no other appliance is vented into your existing chimney.
- Make sure your smoke alarm is working, most of these have a test button. If you don't have one you should get one. Smoke alarms save lives.
- You should obtain a 2A-10B-C fire extinguisher and place it in a readily accessible place. This extinguisher will work on electrical, flammable liquid, or solid combustible type fires.
- Many of the preceding steps should be done a minimum of once a month.
- Precautions when burning your solid fuel appliance:
- Do not overload or over-fire your appliance, this increases the chance of a chimney fire.
- Do not burn trash, paper, or cardboard in your appliance, this also increases the chance of a chimney fire.
- Store ashes in a closed metal container outside at least 36 inches away from your residence and assure dry grass or weeds are cut back 36 inches.
- There is no wood burning installation that is 100% fire safe, so if a problem does occur, such as a chimney fire, notify the Fire Department immediately. There is no cost to you when you notify the department and they respond.
- Never light your stove using gasoline, paint thinner, fuel oil, or any other type of accelerate. Many of these will cause an explosion and result in severe burns.