Wood Burning Stoves Safety Tips

 In Insurance Advice

The weather is going to start getting colder and we all want to stay warm from the chilly temperatures that are coming soon.  Many people have homes that contain wood burning stoves. Here are a few tips to keep your family and your home safe during the upcoming heating season.


When choosing your fuel source, there are certain woods you should only use.  Quality hardwoods, such as maple, beech, ash, hickory, or oak, are the best and safest fuel for a wood burning stove. All of the wood should be cut, split and completely air dried for at least a year or so before burning it in the stove. When determining  if your wood is ready, well-seasoned wood will show cracks in the ends. Wood with sap, such as pine should really be avoided when using wood burning stoves.


Cleaning your wood burning stove and chimney is essential for the units efficiency and for overall safety. When cleaning your stove pipe, use a wire brush to eliminate all debris from the inside of the pipe.  You should do this at least once per year depending on how much you use your stove. It is always a good idea to have your stove or chimney cleaned by a professional chimney technician. Many times, those experts may see problems that homeowners will not.

Creosote…It’s Dangerous

When using wood burning stoves, you have to watch out for Creosote as it is a highly combustible fuel that burns intensely. Fires that burn slowly such as those found in today’s airtight stoves that are damped way down; produce flue temperatures that are relatively low. Lower temperature flues do not sufficiently carry all of the unburned, combustible gases out of the chimney. Instead, they collect on the walls of the stove pipe and in the chimney as creosote. Creosote can be seen in three different ways.  They are:

  • A sticky, black liquid running down the chimney and/or stove pipe where it will be burned
  • A flaky and dry black deposit which can be easily removed with the chimney brush
  • A hard tar which is really hard to remove.  You should contact a certified professional chimney sweep to help you remove this.

There is nothing like the ambiance and warmth of a fire in the colder times of the year.  Following these simple tips will help keep you, your family and your home safe for years to come. If you have any questions or need additional information; please feel free to contact us at 262-695-5800 or send us an email at info@aaigifs.com.

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