Wood Burning Safety Tip Sheet

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This Safety Tip Sheet is a must for a rental unit that includes any type of wood-burning apparatus and will help tenants operate with safety.

Document Last Modified: 10/5/2018

A wood burning stove or fireplace can be a positive attribute for your rental unit. Tenants may enjoy the atmosphere and warmth that a wood burning feature can provide. However, wood burning can also present a danger of fire in the unit. It is important that landlords protect their investment and help their tenants operate the wood stove or fireplace safely.

This convenient addendum can be added to any lease agreement, or can be distributed to tenants at any time to help ensure safe wood burning. This informational pamphlet offers cleaning tips and safety advice when using fireplaces or wood stoves. The United States Fire Administration (USFA) offers the Wood Burning Safety Tip Sheet to educate landlords and tenants, focusing on four key topics of concentration. The tip sheet stresses maintenance, precaution and vigilance to prevent home fires due to the use of wood burning stoves and fireplaces.

The information provided in this safety tip sheet underscores how both the landlord and the tenant can contribute to the safe operation of a wood burning stove or fireplace. Among the many tips, the document stresses the proper ways to burn a fire to minimize dangerous creosote buildup in the chimney. It also reinforces that only approved materials, and not cardboard or other debris, should be burned in a stove or fireplace.

There are measures that can be taken by the landlord or the tenant to improve the safety of wood burning stove and fireplaces, both inside and outside the home. For example, on the exterior, the roof can be kept clear of debris, and the chimney can be covered with a spark arrester. Inside the home, the tip sheet instructs that working smoke alarms on each level of the dwelling are critical safety devices.

All of the above information and much more is provided in this concise, useful document that is an outstanding reference for landlords and tenants.