Wood and coal burning have also been responsible for many home heating accident. Wood stoves, fireplaces, and their chimney assemblies are estimated to account for more than 100,000 residential fires every year, resulting in almost 200 deaths. The dangers associated with this type of heating system are fire and burns resulting from improper installation and creosote buildup.
Installing Wood Stoves
Due to the number of accidents that have occurred, The CPSC has issued a labeling rule on wood stoves to provide a permanent reference to proper installation, operation maintenance procedures and to raise consumer awareness of these dangers.
When installing a wood stove, make certain that it is placed on the surface and at the distance from the wall recommended by the manufacturer.
Most wood heating fires have occurred in the chimney. Such fires can result from poorly constructed or damaged masonry chimneys, poor installation of factory built chimneys or the ignition of creosote, a tar-like residue which builds up in chimneys over time and is caused by low temperature fires.
To reduce the risk of fire, existing masonry chimneys should be inspected and repaired if necessary. Also, special care must be taken when installing a factory-built chimney to ensure it is kept the required distance from nearby combustible materials. People should have their chimneys checked by a qualified chimney sweep before, as well as during, the heating season to prevent a dangerous creosote buildup and resultant chimney fire.
At the say time, both the fireplace and chimney should be checked for structural integrity. And as a final precaution, never burn trash, charcoal or plastics in your wood burning appliance. These items can overheat you stove or fireplace causing a fire. They can also cause a buildup of pollutants when burned in a fireplace. Always make sure the area is properly ventilated.