When the first frost appears, our wood burning customers are often the only ones smiling ear to ear (see picture on the right from a new Friendly Fires customer). Speaking of wood, one interesting trend this season is the popularity of wood and pellet burning appliances. The Hearth Patio & BBQ Association just released new fireplace statistics and after a few years of stable or decreasing sales in Canada, wood is back.
Firstly, there are government wood stove change out programs in Canada. These programs help consumers replace old inefficient (ie not environmentally friendly) wood appliances with new clean burning ones. Secondly, the ever increasing cost of fossil fuels. When you can heat for free – why not? But lastly, there seems to be a new romantic, practical and energy independence association with wood (pellet) burning.
With so many new wood burning customers, its important to talk about safety. Everyone has seen a home on the news up in flames. It does not have to be this way. With a proper installation and safe wood burning techniques, burning with wood is safe.
Chimney Fires: Using newer efficient wood burning appliance with dry wood and a regular chimney sweep will ensure your venting remains perfectly clean.
Hot Glass: Use a safety gate to protect your wood appliance from intentional or accidental touching.
Ember & Heat Protection: Every appliance requires minimum non-combustible clearances around the appliance and venting system. Take a few minutes and verify these clearances with the manual that came with your appliance.
In addition, if your appliance glass, gasket or internal components such as firebrick are damaged or missing, these are inexpensive fixes that will ensure safety for your home or cottage. For expert resources, the fireplace industry has some great consumer tips that can be downloaded at www.wettinc.ca, www.hpba.org, as well as an independent website www.woodheat.org.
Happy and safe wood burning!