Inspectors List Safety Tips for Wood Stoves

Inspectors List Safety Tips for Wood Stoves

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Faced with the increasing popularity of wood-burning stoves and their inherent fire-safety problems, the Fire Inspectors Association of the Town of Huntington, N.Y., has printed a single-page flier to tell the public how these stoves can be installed safely.

In the lower half of the flier are the drawings printed here that illustrate various safety precautions. The dimensions shown were taken from the New York State Building Code and from National Fire Protection Association recommendations. The flier points out that the diagrams are general because the many types of stoves and installations would make the presentation of specific information an unwieldy task.

The noncombustible materials mentioned in the illustrations include any material which fails to ignite or support combustion when an open flame is held to an edge of the material in a vertical position for approximately 15 seconds. These include masonry and ceramic or metal tile—which are considered noncombustible only when applied with a nonflammable adhesive—as well as asbestos cement board.

The flier points out that noncombustible materials do not include decorative wood, pressed board, plywood or Masonite.

The association also warns the public that the floor must be protected with noncombustible material for 18 inches in front of ash removal and wood-loading doors in a stove.

The flier advises readers planning to install a stove to contact their local fire inspector for further information. (The Town of Huntington encompasses a number of villages.) The readers also are advised that in Huntington, a permit to install a burning stove must be obtained from the Department of Engineering, Building and Housing. For other communities, they are told to check with their local fire department.

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