Do you have a fireplace in your home?
Many people do, a fireplace can make a house very cozy on a cold day.
Is your woodstove or fireplace insert safe?
Improperly installed and maintained wood stoves and fireplaces can lead to dangerous conditions that put you, your family and neighbours at risk.

Safety Tips

  • Never leave children unattended when there is a fire in a wood stove or fireplace. Children are naturally curious of fire and if left alone could be very badly burned if they get too close.
  • Keep combustible materials a safe distance away from wood stoves and fireplaces.
  • Always use a properly fitting screen for your fireplace.
  • Burn properly dried, well-seasoned wood to reduce the risk of excessive creosote build-up from inefficient burning or smouldering fires. Store wood outdoors, stacked in an open area of shed away from the house or deck to provide good airflow that will assist drying.
  • Allow ashes to cool fully before cleaning them from your woodstove or fireplace. Use only metal, non-combustible containers to remove ashes. Take them immediately outside and store well away from buildings on a non-combustible surface.
  • Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your wood stove or fireplace.
  • A building permit is required for any newly installed wood stove or fireplace insert or chimney in your home or garage. Always follow the manufacturer's installation instructions.
  • A Carbon monoxide alarm must be installed in all homes with a fuel-fired appliance.

The Ontario Fire Code (under Section 2.6 Service Equipment, Page 23) requires homeowners to maintain the safety of their chimneys and inspect them at least once a year. Your chimney could have a problem you cannot see.

Watch for smoke coming into the room

  • This could indicate a blockage in the chimney or a faulty damper control mechanism. Check it out!

What else can I do to ensure my fireplace or wood stove are safe for my family?

  • When purchasing a new wood stove or fireplace insert, look for the mark of an accredited certification agency that ensures the product has been tested and meets established safety standards.
  • Install a chimney cap on top of your chimney to protect against damage from rain or snow. Spark screens should be inspected regularly to make sure smoke can vent properly.
  • Regularly check for signs of problems. Your heating appliance, flue pipes and chimney can deteriorate over time. Look for corrosion or rust stains in the outer shell of a metal chimney and check for bulges or corrosion in its liner.
  • Check stove pipes and connections to ensure all joints in flue pipes are securely fastened with at least 3 screws. Where flue pipes are joined together, the small (crimped) end should point toward the appliance.
  • Check the walls for excessive heat. If the wall is very hot it could be a sign of improper installation of the chimney or stove pipe.
  • Have your wood stove or fireplace inspected by a WETT certified professional.