Safely Heating Your Space
How to Properly Use Alternative Heating Sources
Rising fuel prices and environmental concerns have driven many consumers to look for alternate ways to heat their homes and businesses. Before choosing or installing an alternative heating stove take the following steps:
Evaluate the insulation and thermal properties of the stove.
Alternate Heating Stoves can vary in construction regarding self-contained insulation and thermal protection.
A single layer iron-walled stove can generate enormous heat several feet in all directions.
More sophisticated multiple walled insulated forced air stoves can remain safe to the touch when in use.
Use only the fuel (e.g., pellets, corn, log wood, coal or gas) specifically recommended or permitted by the manufacturer for your particular stove.
Evaluate the space where the stove will be located.
- Placement of the stove must take into consideration adequate space for installation, maintenance and replacement, flue or vent pipe routing and most importantly, safe location relative to combustible materials.
- The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) recognizes appropriate ANSI and UL standards and testing of the reduction of heat with distance from the unit as well as non-combustible shielding (defined in codes).
- Look for an attached safety label that will be present in properly tested and rated stoves and an installation manual that details the manufacturer’s recommended minimum separations.
- Shield the floor or other surface. In most cases, protection of the floor or combustible surface under a stove is required and specified including shielding beneath and extending on all sides in accordance with the code and label requirements. This includes adequate protection in front of the fire box and where ash removal is required.
- Standards also exist for locating and routing flue and vent pipes in order to provide separation from combustibles adjacent to and through walls and to existing chimneys.
Additional information about these and other options for safely heating your home or business are available in the IBHS Guide, ”Alternative Heating Sources.”
© 2012 Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety