Are Outdoor Wood Stoves Safe?

Using an outdoor wood stove may be the most efficient way to provide heat to your home and even supply endless hot water for bathing, cleaning and cooking. Since a wood burning stove is found outdoors, it is safer, will never cause any health problems and it can be maintained more efficiently.

Issues about the safety of any kind of equipment are common for homeowners and owning an outdoor wood burning stove is no exception. As long as you keep in mind the following techniques, you will never have to worry about safety when it comes to using a wooden stove:

  1. There are local codes that must be followed when it comes to the installation, maintenance and repairs of outdoor wood burning stoves. Local codes ensure that stove manufacturers as well as contractors that build outdoor wood stoves conform to safety. You should study these codes well before you purchase or install a wooden stove outdoors for heating your home, building or pool. Your local community office, building inspector or fire department may have learning materials for you.
  2. Safety will be ensured when homeowners follow manufacturer’s requirements when it comes to using and maintaining an outdoor wood burning stove.
  3. In using accessories and replacing parts of your outdoor wood burning stove, be sure to use only parts and accessories that are compatible with your stove model. Order your parts from reliable retailers or order them direct from your stove manufacturer.
  4. Aside from the actual outdoor stove, building the venting channels, chimneys and heating systems should be consulted to a qualified contractor. By ensuring that these are well-constructed, you can safely heat your home for years to come.
  5. Outdoor wood burning stoves and furnaces require specific minimum distances or clearances from all combustible materials. Even if your wood burning stove it should be installed on a safe distance from your garage, tool shed and workshop since there might be combustibles like paint, gas, etc. that could lead to a serious fire.
  6. Follow maintenance steps as recommended by your manufacturer. Do not attempt to clean or make any repairs on your outdoor wooden stove without reading about your manufacturer’s instructions. You may contact customer service of your outdoor wooden stove manufacturer for more details.
  7. Use only treated wood for your outdoor wood burning stove. Wood used for burning contains up to 50% water and this could cause steam and creosote. This is a thick paste that could coat your chimney and even the pipes leading to your home. You will only risk reducing the function and safety of using your outdoor stove when you use untreated wood for burning.

Experts like the Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Association (HPBA) recommends outdoor wood burning stove users to read and understand the Outdoor Furnace Best Burn Practices. This is a list of rules on how to install, operate and maintain outdoor wood furnaces and should be followed by building maintenance, homeowners and anyone using this kind of stove for heating and for cooking.

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