Wood burning is a popular method of home heating in the Northwest.
However, the byproducts of wood burning can be significant factors
affecting our quality of life and safety.
NW Insurance Council offers the following
tips to help you safely burn wood and protect your family, home
- Insulate and weather strip your home
to conserve heat. You may be able to use
a smaller wood stove and burn less wood.
- Burn seasoned wood only.
Green wood just smolders and smokes without producing much
heat. An average 16-pound piece of freshly cut alder contains
about 2 1/2 quarts of moisture. It's best to use wood that's been
seasoned for six months to a year. Split wood before storing because
it will dry in less time and burn more evenly. Use of proper wood
is your best safeguard against an accumulation of creosote on
the lining of a chimney. A small spark can ignite creosote and
cause what can be an extremely hot and dangerous fire.
- Achieve proper burning temperatures.
A properly functioning appliance should not produce more
than a pale wisp of smoke.
- Burn only wood in your appliance.
Avoid burning trash, treated materials or coal because
these materials can emit poisonous gases.
- Consider the air quality before you
burn wood. Unless your wood stove is the only
source of heat in your home, never use your wood stove during
a burn ban.
- Spring cleaning. Include
your wood stove and chimneys as part of your annual cleaning.
Proper maintenance of your stove and chimneys, along with proper
use, will keep your appliance safe and functioning properly.