As the mornings get a little cooler, we have come to the unfortunate conclusion that fall is here and winter is around the corner. (So get those last rounds of golf in quick!)
It is now the time to get on those fall projects before we get into the unbearable truth, that is, winter. One thing that can make this winter a little more enjoyable is having a warm wood fire in your home. Whether it is a wood stove, fireplace or wood boiler system; nothing feels as nice as the warmth of a good fire on a cold day.
That being said, there are some things you should know about your wood burning system to keep you and your family safe and to make sure if something happens, your property is looked after as well.
1) When installing a wood stove or other system, please contact a wood heat professional. This can be either a heating contractor or stop by one of our offices to get some information on how to properly install a unit into your home. Each wood burning system is different and requires different installation codes to follow. If you install it incorrectly, your insurance company may not accept it, and you may also be putting yourself in harm’s way.
2) Once installed, make sure it is inspected by someone qualified to do so. Again, we have staff on hand who are WETT certified and can inspect these units properly. A basic inspection can be done by any broker; this is required by every insurance company so they can review the unit and make sure it is up to their standards. If a claim occurs from the use of the new unit, and it hasn’t been approved by the insurance carrier, your insurance can be voided. So please contact us before you use your wood burning appliance.
3) Keep a clean environment around the stove at all times. When you have a fire burning and you are opening and closing the door to add more fuel (wood) to the fire. Sparks can jump out and land outside of the unit. If there is paper or other combustibles nearby, a fire can start outside the unit and this could end up being devastating. Each certified unit will have a required amount of clearance around the stove to prevent problems like this, so for your safety it is important to follow those requirements.
4) Do not burn any items in the unit other than the fuel that it is approved for. Burning garbage or other items in these units can ruin the integrity of the steel and equipment. This is a not only a safety concern, but it will reduce the life expectancy of the unit and you will start to have a lot of problems in your chimney with the burnt emissions & creosote.
5) Lastly, you should have your unit & chimney cleaned regularly. Most insurance companies would like to see your equipment being cleaned at least twice a year; before heating season and after. This will help keep the unit running efficiently (proper draft) and get rid of any possible blockages that could have developed over time, causing potential fire hazards.
We want to make sure your wood burning appliances are installed correctly; not because it’s required for your insurance, but because we care about your safety. How these units are installed, maintained and cleaned will help keep you and your family safe. If you would like an inspection, please contact one of our locations so we can get that scheduled for you.