It’s almost as common as pumpkin spice: the smell of a wood fire in the autumn air. For many in the six-state Hastings Mutual coverage area, fireplaces and wood stoves are a long tradition in their homes. One of the many tools we offer our local independent insurance agent partners is training in our different products and safety tips for our policyholders. And one of our most popular training courses is wood stove safety.
The training materials feature dozens of photos of wood stoves with advice on how to make sure they’re safe. It’s information that’s useful not just for your agent, but for you too. There are many dos and don’ts for wood stoves, which makes sense since you’re working with fire. Here’s a few of the tips we recommend for setting up a stove and using it once it’s in place.
When you install the wood stove, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), so it’s installed appropriately. The stove needs to be properly ventilated and kept clear of flammables.
A lot of these may seem obvious, especially if you have a fireplace or you light campfires throughout the summer. But wood stoves contribute to more than 4,000 house fires in the U.S. every year.
Once you have your wood stove set up and burning, you’ll need to make sure it’s in good condition each year before cold sets in. Here’s what our safety reviewers recommend for regular maintenance of your wood stove and the chimney it’s attached to.
A wood-burning stove is a common, and very enjoyable, part of the fall and winter throughout our six-state service area. By following a few simple guidelines, your wood burner can be a pleasant part of the season for you and your family for many years.
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