General Wood Stove Safety

Below are some important safety tips, many of which are recommended by the National Fire Protection Association, which produced the NFPA-211 standards used by the insurance industry. Remember to always use common sense and by no means consider this list to be complete or comprehensive.

Consult the Katydid™ or Kimberly™ Owner’s Manual for safety recommendations specific to the Katydid™ or Kimberly™ gasifier wood stove.

  • Install an EPA Certified wood stove. Read and follow the manufacturer’s safety recommendations.
  • Install your wood stove to manufacturer’s instructions and local codes, if applicable. Do NOT modify!
  • Install a wood stove with an outside combustion air intake so that occupants do not compete with flames for oxygen.
  • Use an approved hearth pad of the proper size and type for your specific wood stove model.
  • Use an approved venting pipe appropriate for your specific wood stove model.
  • Use a spark arrester on the top of the chimney as outlined in your wood stove owner’s manual.
  • Bolt your wood stove and hearth pad to the floor of your house.
  • Install a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector. Test and replace batteries regularly.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy of the appropriate type and size. Keep it charged, and know how to use it.
  • Keep paper and other combustibles away from your wood stove. Be mindful of pets and small children which might knock things over and start a fire.
  • Be mindful of the potential for flying sparks and live embers when opening the door to add fuel.
  • Never hang wet clothes to dry above a wood stove as they might fall off the hanger and start a house fire.
  • Always dispose of ashes by placing them in a sealed metal container and placing the container on a non-combustible surface until they have extinguished themselves and have cooled.
  • Wear leather stove gloves when loading your wood stove or removing ashes to prevent contact burns to skin from the wood stove.
  • Always burn wood with less than 20% moisture content, as verified by a moisture meter. Not only will you get more heat from your cordwood, but it will produce less smoke and less creosote.
  • Never burn pressed logs with wax or paraffin.
  • Monitor the accumulation of creosote in your chimney and clean it often to prevent chimney fires.