Wood-burning stoves

Wood-burning stoves and wood burning boilers should use only the right quality of wood and need to be properly installed, maintained and regularly serviced by a qualified and competent person.

If your wood burner is not burning correctly, contact the company or shop that sold it to you. Or contact the Association of British Solid Fuel Appliance Manufacturers for advice.

Follow these guidelines:

  • The stove or boiler should be installed by a competent person, following the maker's instructions and the building regulations and codes of practice.

  • Make sure there is always enough air coming into the room and that the chimney is clean – this will assist the burning process reducing the likelihood of airborne particulate within the room. Particulate within the room has the potential to be hazardous to heath, more so for those with a pre-existing respiratory illness.

  • Wood burning stoves and boilers require placement on a fire-resistant base. Placement directly onto a hardwood floor or carpeted surface increases the risk of fire due to the extreme heat in the fire box.

  • The wood should be dry and well-seasoned. This usually takes about two years. A well-seasoned log will have drying-out splits in the ends. Wet or newly-felled wood can cause tar or creosote to form in the wood burner and chimney.

  • If the creosote is not removed through yearly cleaning, there is a significant danger of the creosote igniting and causing a chimney fire any kind of chimney fire has the potential to result in significant loss of property or life.

  • If the wood burner has been used slowly (overnight, for instance) this should be followed by a period of faster burning to dry out any creosote and to warm up the chimney again.

  • The chimney should be cleaned at the end of each heating season and at least once during the heating season. It should also be inspected regularly.

  • Do not stack logs or place any other combustible materials immediately adjacent to the stove or boiler. The Service been called to fires caused as a result of logs being stored against the hot external surface of wood burners.

  • Children should be educated about the dangers of fire and should not be permitted near hot surfaces or the stove door. Use a protective fire guard that is suited to the design of the stove within your property.

  • Use extra caution and proper protection when opening the stove door, adding to the fire or touching any part of the wood burning stove to prevent yourself from getting burnt.

  • Never leave a fire unattended for any reason.

Carry out your own home safety check

Complete our online home safety check and you will get a personalised fire safety plan, which will offer advice on how to prevent fires in your home.

Do the online home safety check

Book a home safety check

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service will fit free smoke alarms for people who are aged over 65 and for people who are referred to us by partner agencies because they are considered to be at a particular risk.

If you are over 65 years of age and you live in Cheshire, you can arrange for a Firefighter or a Community Safety Advocate to visit your home for a free home safety visit. During the home safety visit advice will be given on how to make your home safer, what to do in the event of a fire and what to do if you are trapped by a fire. Free smoke alarms will also be fitted (if needed) with an explanation on how to maintain them correctly.

Book a home safety visit for over 65's