Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful….until it burns down your home.
Wood burning stoves can be an economical way to heat your home, but can cause a world of hurt if they are not installed properly. One thing most people don’t consider is the affect the wood stove will have on their homeowners insurance. Some companies won’t write a home with a wood stove, others will hit you with a surcharge and a few could care less either way. The most important thing is to make sure the stove is installed correctly. This is not the place to skimp as it will come back to haunt you.
SEE ALSO: Dirty Little Secrets From Your Fireplace
Before You Buy a Wood Burning Stove
What type of stove do you want? There are several different models. Ask people that have a similar stove to what you want if they have been satisfied with the performance and the level of heat output. Is there a particular dealer everyone raves about or one they advise you to stay away from?
Make sure the stove is listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or a similar nationally recognized testing agency which tests in accordance with UL standards.
Check with your insurance agent to see how your insurance company handles stoves. Ask for written guidelines on required clearances. Most home fires caused by wood stoves are due to improper installation or operation. To help reduce the risk, the National Fire Protection Association has recommended clearances between wood stoves and protected and unprotected combustible walls and ceilings.
Hire a professional for the installation. This is not a job you want to DIY. Do your research.
Annually, have your chimney flues and stove pipes inspected. Cracks can occur or critters may have made a home.
Throughout the winter, be sure to keep the flue and chimney clean of buildup. The more you use your wood burning stove, the more likely it is to become dirty.
Safely dispose of ashes. A non-combustible container on a non-combustible floor is ideal. Be sure to keep children and pets away from the container.
It’s also recommended to keep a fire extinguisher near the stove and smoke detectors throughout your home. Checking both of these annually is a must.
If you are interested in installing a wood stove for your home please contact our office. We have insurance companies that will gladly write your home with a wood stove. Be sure to ask for our informational packet on proper installation and procedures.
So now sit back, relax and enjoy that nice warm fire (from your safely burning wood stove).