Think safety first when buying or installing a woodstove

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It is the time of year when homeowners are looking for alternative ways to heat their homes. Wood-burning stoves can be a way to lower fuel costs and aid in heating a residence.

If not properly installed, woodstoves can present life-threatening hazards. A building permit is required for any alternative heating appliance prior to its installation. These stoves are generally required to be a listed and labeled appliance. The installation requirements, as specified, are what has been tested and is required by the manufacturer for clearances. The installation should be inspected and approved by the building department prior to the use of the heating appliance.

There are floor and wall protection requirements to prevent heat buildup and to minimize the risk of fires caused by heat exposure. The chimney connector and the chimney also have requirements for clearances from combustibles. The chimney has height requirements to properly remove exhaust from combustion from the house.

Routine maintenance is required to prevent the buildup of creosote, a product of combustion, in the chimney connector and the chimney. Any ashes removed from the heating appliance must be completely out and cool prior to removal or disposal. Use only a metal receptacle for ashes removed from your stove or fireplace. These ashes may remain a fire hazard for many hours after the fire “has gone out.” They must be removed from the building and not be in contact with materials that will burn. Every heating season, improperly disposed of ashes cause fires.

The Granby Building Department urges safety when using any appliance and is available to answer questions at 860-844-5318.