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Wood burning stoves

The wood burning stove has increased in popularity over the past 25 years as an alternative to gas or electric systems. To reduce the likelihood of unwanted fires in your wood burning appliances, follow the safety guidance.

Safety guidance

A competent engineer should install all wood burning stoves and boilers. To maximise the efficiency and prolong the working life of the appliance regular maintenance should be undertaken. The company that supplied the appliance is usually the best source for this routine or specialist servicing, but an alternative can be found on the HETAS website.

Safety checklist:

  • Ensure that correct ventilation is available when the appliance is in use
  • Wood-burning stoves and boiler appliances should only use the right quality of wood as recommended by the supplying company
  • Generally the wood should be dry, well seasoned. This is usually wood that has been kept dry and stored for about two years. A fair guide to the seasoning is the presence of drying-out splits in the ends of logs or timbers.
  • Avoid wet or newly felled wood as this will cause tars or creosote deposits to form in the burning appliance and chimney. Also avoid burning laminated chip boards. These are made using binding glues that will also leave deposits.
  • For each period of slow burning (overnight) there should follow a quick burn to dry out any unwanted tar or creosote deposits. This will also warm up the chimney again.
  • Inspect the appliance regularly including the chimney and flues.
  • At the end of each burning season, and at least once during the season, the entire system should be cooled and thoroughly cleaned to maintain top performance

If you suspect that an unwanted fire has occurred, ring 999.

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