Fireplaces and Wood Stoves

Safety tips for fireplaces and wood stoves include:

  • Use a fireplace screen
  • Clear the area around the fireplace or wood stove of combustible materials
  • Keep air inlets on wood stoves open and never restrict air supply to fireplaces to prevent creosote build-up, this could lead to a chimney fire
  • Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace or wood stove
  • Consider installing stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures
  • Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house
  • Soak hot ashes in water and place them in a metal container outside your home
  • Remove branches hanging above the chimney, flues or vents
  • Cover the chimney with a mesh screen spark arrester
  • Ensure your home is protected with working smoke and CO alarms

Under the Ontario Fire Code, homeowners are responsible for ensuring their fireplaces are safe and in good repair:

  • Inspect your fireplace and/or wood stove regularly
  • Have a Wood Energy Technical Training (WETT) certified technician conduct an annual inspection and cleaning. Professionals have the tools and expertise to conduct thorough inspections.

New fireplace/woodstove installations

  • building permit is required for all new fireplace and woodstove installations
  • A mechanical inspector from the Building department will need to inspect your fireplace or woodstove.

Return to the Fire Safety and Guidelines page.