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
- A 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.