Wood-burning stoves

Wood-burning stoves and wood-burning boilers should burn 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 health, 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. We have 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.

Last updated: Monday, 19 June 2023