Fire in a wood burning stove fireplace

Wood Stove Safety Tips

The resurgence of the wood-burning stove as a supplementary source of heat has led to an alarming - and growing - number of fires, traceable to careless installation or misuse.

If a wood stove is installed properly and carefully operated, there is little safety risk. However, many people take shortcuts in an effort to save money or time. This often results in fires that destroy property and endanger lives. Always have a fire escape plan that you practice regularly with your family.

Important Wood Stove Safety Do's and Don'ts:


» DO - make sure there is enough clearance between the stove and combustible materials, including floors, walls and ceilings.

× DON'T - extend the stove pipe through a wall or ceiling unless there is no possible alternative.

» DO - place the stove on a noncombustible, fire resistant base that extends at least 36 inches around the perimeter of the stove.

× DON'T​ - connect a wood stove to a fireplace chimney unless the fireplace has been sealed off.

» DO - have a mason or other competent person inspect the chimney.

× DON'T - connect a wood stove to a chimney serving another appliance or burning other fuels.

» DO - burn only dry, well-seasoned wood. Burning green wood will cause combustible creosote to buildup in your stovepipe and chimney. Creosote is the cause of most chimney fires.

× DON'T - start a stove fire with flammable liquids, such as gasoline.

» DO - consider opening a window a crack for ventilation.

× DON'T - burn trash in a wood stove; doing so can start a chimney fire.

» DO - dispose of ashes in a closed metal container outside and away from the house.

× DON'T - use your wood-burning stove for cooking.

» DO - have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. Replace any detectors that are over 10 years old.

× DON'T - store wood or other combustibles beside or behind the stove. Keep material at least 3 feet away from the stove.

» DO - keep a filled fire extinguisher handy; make sure to replace it if it's beyond the expiration date printed on its' label.

× DON'T - burn pressure-treated, painted or stained wood because it contains toxic chemicals.

» ​DO​ - have your chimney inspected every year, at the beginning of the season.

× DON'T - start the season without a chimney inspection.

Did you know that your Internet browser is out of date?

Your browser is out of date and may not be compatible with our website.
A list of the most popular web browsers can be downloaded from below.

Close This Window

By closing this window you acknowledge that your experience on this website may be degraded.