Wood Stove Safety Tips 

Wood stoves can be a great source of heat and comfort.But, they can also be dangerous and are linked to many house fires every year.As Meghan Hayward tells us, there are some easy things folks with wood stoves can do to avoid chimney fires.Bangor Fire Department’s public education officer, Jake Johnson, says January and February are when they see the most fires because people are using heating devices like wood stoves.Which can pose dangers.”A lot of folks that get a wood stove just kind of put it into a space and they need more living space, so they tuck it a little closer to the wall. And wood stoves really need specific requirements according to the manufacturer.”Johnson says the general rule is the stove should usually be three feet away from the wall.He says it’s important to know how to run a wood stove correctly.”And there’s a really fine line. If you run it too hot, there’s a danger of over-firing the stove and it can catch things on fire and also damage your stove. If you run it too cool, it can produce creosote.”So what is a good temperature?”Ideally, you’re going to run your stove at 350 or so. People tend to let their stove get to that temperature and then they shut it down so now you’re going to be below that temperature. And I let the stove get 500 sometimes before I choke it down so it maintains that 350 to 400 temperature continuous.”Mark Strang of Finest Hearth and Home in Bangor says many folks have misconceptions about wood stoves.”That the wood stove causes the fire. Ninety percent of the time, the stove didn’t cause the fire. The person running the stove causes the fire.”Johnson says cleaning your chimney is an easy way to prevent chimney fires.”I recommend as a rule to check it at least once a month and clean anytime there’s about a quarter inch of creosote or more.”Johnson says don’t forget to have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.And if you’ve recently purchased a wood stove and are unsure if you’ve set it up properly, Johnson says most local fire departments will come do a free inspection.