Chief’s Corner: Practicing proper wood, pellet stove safety
EDITOR’S NOTE: “Chief’s Corner” is a regular feature in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza from North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Chief Mike Brown, offering information, tips and education material on fire safety, emergency preparedness and other pertinent topics.
During the winter months many of us utilize our fireplaces and wood or pellet stoves for indoor heating. Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires during the winter months. For folks that use wood or pellet stoves, please be cautious and consider the following safety tips.
• Have a qualified professional install stoves, chimney connectors, and chimneys.
• Stoves should have the label of an independent testing laboratory.
• In wood stoves, burn only dry, seasoned wood. In pellet stoves, burn only dry, seasoned wood pellets.
• Have your chimney and stove inspected and cleaned by a certified chimney sweep every fall just before heating season.
• Clean the inside of your stove periodically using a wire brush.
• Keep a close eye on children whenever a wood or pellet stove is being used. Remind them to stay at least 3 feet away from the stove.
• Stoves need space. Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from the stove.
• Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms (CO) and smoke alarms outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. For the best protection, interconnect the alarms. When one sounds, they all sound.
• Allow ashes to completely cool before disposing them. Place ashes in a covered metal container. Keep the container at least 10 feet away from the home and other buildings.
• Folks that utilize a wood or pellet burning stove for household heat, may apply for a free ash can by completing an application available at the Fire District Administration office, 866 Oriole Way, Incline Village. Inside each ash can is an instructional flyer on how to properly dispose of fireplace ashes.