Canadians depend on their heating systems to keep them warm during the long winters. It can be comforting to curl up beside a crackling fireplace, or gather family and friends around the warmth of a wood stove. Act now to ensure that wood stoves and fireplaces are operating properly and free of potential hazards.
The City of London does not issue building permits for the installation of fireplaces and woodstoves. Installation and inspection of woodstoves and fireplaces according to stringent standards can help protect your family from fire and carbon monoxide dangers.
Installation must conform to "CSA B365 Installation Code for Solid-Fuel Burning Appliances and Equipment."
Ensure any stoves, inserts, fireplaces, chimneys and flue pipes carry a certification label indicating that it conforms to safety tests (CSA, ULC, ITS). Certified appliances carry a label with the logo of the certification agency. They are your assurance that the product has been tested and conforms to safety standards.
All installations and inspections must be carried out by a WETT Certified individual. The Wood Energy Technical Training Program is a comprehensive series of courses covering installation codes, proper installation, maintenance and inspection procedures. Please note: The London Fire Department does not inspect wood stoves. Please check you local yellow pages for WETT certified inspectors.
Contact your insurance company prior to the installation. Installing a fireplace or woodstove may greatly affect your insurance rates!
Follow these tips to keep your fireplace/woodstove and chimney working safely and efficiently each year!
- The Ontario Fire Code requires homeowners to maintain their heating appliances in safe operating condition. The Technical Standards and Safety Act 2000 requires homeowners to have heating appliances inspected, including chimneys or vents.
- Check stovepipes and connections. Ensure that screws are located at every joint and that each connection is a tight fit. Also look for signs of dark staining or white powder (leeching) at every joint. Rust is a clear sign that it is time to replace the pipe.
- Check for creosote. Creosote is a by-product of combustion that can form quickly on the interior walls of your chimney. It is black or brown gummy substance that builds up on the flue. A buildup of creosote can catch fire, so have your chimney cleaned professionally as required.
- Check walls for heat. If the wall above or behind your fireplace or stove gets very hot, it could be a sign of improper installation. Have it checked by a WETT certified professional.
- Protect walls and floors from heat and sparks. Keep combustible objects away from your wood stove or fireplace. Fireplace openings should always be protected by a properly fitted screen and wall and floor surfaces around the fireplace/stove should be covered or constructed of noncombustible materials.
- Inspect the masonry chimney, looking for leeching on the outside bricks as well.
- Check for missing pieces in the chimney liner as well (these pieces may be found in the clean out door at the bottom of the chimney) and if found, have the chimney liner checked by a professional.
- Ensure doors, gaskets, seals, baffles and flues work as required. If not, have them repaired right away.
- Always ensure that exterior vents are kept clear of snow or other materials that may block them.
Remember: When using any fuel-fired appliance, always make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector installed in the sleeping areas!