Winter is here! Here are some tips for using your wood burning stove safely.
Wood burning Operations and maintenance
Ventilation for your wood burning stove
Venting the stove is the most important part of the wood-burning system. 90% of all stove-related fires originate within the venting system. A venting system is not a chimney – it consists of lengths of 24-gauge or heavier, insulated stovepipe which connects the stove to an approved chimney.
The vent must be as short as possible, with no more than 2 right angle elbows. The sections of stovepipe should be assembled with crimped, male ends of the sections facing down, towards the stove. Stovepipe sections should be fastened with at least 3 sheet-metal screws or other fasteners. Seams must overlap and face up on inclined runs.
Stovepipe clearance is extremely important. It must never pass through an interior wall, floor, or ceiling. Stovepipe should never be used for a chimney because the elements will rust.
Wood burning stoves require proper operations and regular maintenance, including but not limited to the following:
Use proper fuel:
Hardwoods, such as maple, beech, ash, hickory, or oak, are the best fuel for a wood burning stove. Wood should be cut, split and air dried for at least a year before burning. Well-seasoned hardwood will show cracks in the ends. Wood will dry faster and remain dry and protected from the elements if stored in a shed or under a tarp.
Use a wire brush to clean your stovepipe and chimney at least once a year. Also, occasionally use controlled, high-temperature fires in the stove or furnace. Don’t bother with the salt-based chemical cleaners. And never use heavy items such as chains, bricks or a brush on the end of a rope, because they could seriously damage the interior chimney lining.
Avoid creosote buildup:
Creosote is a highly combustible fuel that burns intensely. A slow-burning fire such as those found in a modern, airtight stove damped way down, produces a flue temperature in the 100-200 degree Fahrenheit range. These comparatively low temperatures do not sufficiently carry all of the unburned, combustible gases into the atmosphere. Instead, they condense along the walls of the stovepipe and the chimney as creosote. Creosote may take 3 forms:
* A sticky liquid that will run down the chimney and stove pipe where it will be burned
* A flaky, black deposit which is easily removed by brushing
* A hard, glazed tar which is almost impossible to remove, except by a certified professional chimney sweep
Fire safety videos and tips
1. Close your door-
A simple nighttime routine can wind up saving countless lives: close the door! Researchers are finding that fire spread is occurring far more rapidly with modern home furnishings, which often incorporate synthetic, petroleum-based products as coverings and stuffing. Simply closing the bedroom door at night can provide more survivable temperatures, higher oxygen concentrations, and reduced exposure to carbon monoxide for occupants if a fire ignites outside the room. In conjunction with creating a simple barrier to fire and toxic smoke, preparing escape plans for each member of the family is paramount.
2. Hands only CPR-
There are many risk factors for a heart attack, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, a history of stroke, obesity, or diabetes. Signs and symptoms of a heart attack vary by individual but there are several common signs: shortness of breath; pain in the jaw, neck, back, shoulder, or chest; feeling faint. IF A HEART ATTACK IS SUSPECTED, DIAL 911 IMMEDIATELY.