Wood burning appliances must be regularly inspected
Thereʼs nothing as cozy as a winter day with a fire or wood stove burning in your living room. Here in the ʻGreat White Northʼ more Canadians are installing wood burning systems in their homes, but there are safety requirements and standards that must be followed to avoid creating a fire hazard.
The most common wood burning systems include masonry fireplaces, factory built fireplaces with associated chimneys, freestanding wood stoves and fireplace inserts or heart mount stoves. Each of these systems offers a different level of heat, and has unique requirements for chimneys, flues and installation areas.
“A fireplace or wood stove can warm up the ambience and temperature of a room in no time, but many people donʼt consider the maintenance and safety requirements,” says John Cooke, who is with AmeriSpec of Canada. “Homeowners who are installing a wood burn- ing system should work with a qualified contractor to make sure they keep the appliance clean and working smoothly.”
At the installation stage, ensure there is proper ventilation for the system to stop carbon monoxide exhaust from leaking back into the home.
Wood burning appliances must be regularly inspected for cracks, corrosion and proper door/latch operation. A qualified contractor can conduct these inspections, and should also clean the appliance annually to prevent excess creosote build-up and ensure safety.
When choosing a contractor or inspector, look for someone with Wood Energy Technical Training (WETT), which ensures they have applied education and field experience in the area of residential wood energy.