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Is a wood stove right for you?

By December 20, 2019Personal Insurance
wood stove fire-min

There is comfort in the crackling sound of a wood stove or wood-burning fireplace or stove on a cold winter’s night. But warm and cozy can quickly turn dangerous, destructive and deadly if your wood-burning unit is not properly installed or regularly maintained.

Making the Switch to a Wood Stove

With increases coming to electricity costs, some people are installing alternative sources of heat to reduce their heating bills. When installing alternative sources of heat like wood stoves, wood furnaces, and pellet stoves it is important to remember to follow the manufacturers’ specifications that go with that particular unit, and, if unsure how to install, to contact a licensed WETT professional on their website. All licensed WETT professionals in Canada are located on this website so if their name isn’t listed they simply aren’t considered a WETT professional. 

Sometimes a wood source can be installed in an undeveloped area which is fine, but remember, if you later develop that area you have to make sure the installation of your wood source is still installed to manufacturers installation requirements. Also, any time you make changes to the original install such as changing the position of the unit or installing a new unit you must contact your insurance provider to have a new questionnaire completed and provide new photos. The new installation will then have to be approved by your insurance provider as different models have different installation requirements. Please consult your homeowners‘ policy or contact your Account Manager for more information.

Did you know that the largest source of fire in Canadian homes comes from fuel-burning appliances?

The main causes of fire include inadequate clearance between the wood burner and walls, floors and furniture; creosote buildup in the chimney; poorly or improperly installed chimneys and improper installation of the wood burner itself.

Wood Burning Safety Tips

Use these tips to safely use your wood-burning stove:

  • Read the instructions for your wood-burning stove and follow them carefully.
  • Inspect the firebrick liner in your stove, if you have one. Should the liner show signs of wear, replace it immediately and do not use the unit until the liner is replaced.
  • Do not use flammable or combustible liquid (gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid, etc.) to start a fire.
  • Burn wood recommended by the manufacturer only.
  • Do not burn plastic, wood or garbage that has been painted or treated with chemicals.
  • Be sure to have properly maintained smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and an approved multi-purpose fire extinguisher in your home.
  • Never close your damper with hot ashes in the fireplace. Doing so will cause the fire to heat up which will force toxic carbon monoxide into your house.
  • Take extra care when disposing of hot ashes and remember that these embers may still be hot for several days.

Solid fuel units tend to require a lot more maintenance than other heating systems. Therefore, regular inspections and care are needed to protect your home and family against fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Exercise due care and enjoy staying toasty by your fireplace or wood stove this winter!

Author Jamie Ross

Jamie Ross leads the Marketing and Communications team at Wedgwood Insurance, renowned as one of Atlantic Canada’s premier independent insurance brokers. Bringing a wealth of experience amassed over many years at some of Canada's most esteemed advertising agencies, Jamie transitioned to the insurance industry in 2017. This pivotal move has marked a period of significant professional growth and contribution to the field. A native Nova Scotian, Jamie has been a resident of St. John's, NL, since 2011, where he has become an integral part of the local community. Learn more about Jamie.

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