Heating Safely this Okanagan Winter

There is no doubt that Okanagan winters are cold. You enjoy a nice day up at the ski hill or finish a long day at work and all you want to do is curl up in front of your wood stove or pellet stove. However, if you plan to us these heating systems, lets cover a few things.

Although they keep you warm on a chilly winter day, these two types of stoves are the riskiest heating systems to install in your home. Because of the risk associated with wood and pellet stoves, they could affect the cost of your insurance and your eligibility for coverage.

We don’t want you to just ditch your heating system because of this. Our home agents at Baron Insurance work hard to make sure you are protected. For that reason, we put together a small list of things to do to make sure you are using safe heating practices. Considering these tips will make sure that you and your family are not at risk of a fire and stay toasty warm all season!


With whatever heating system you have in your home, you can take these precautions to make sure you are safe:

  • Don’t Touch. The outside surfaces of fire places, wood stoves, and pellet stoves are very hot. Therefore, ensure that kids and pets keep a good distance from these surfaces.
  • Working Fire Alarms. It is crucial to test your fire and carbon monoxide detectors frequently.
  • Keep Distance. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away your heating equipment, this includes furniture.
  • Call a Professional. If you are looking to get a new heater in your home or just need your existing one cleaned, seek help! Make sure that it is up to code with local laws in your town.
  • Fuel. Always use the right sort of fuel for your stove or fire place. Never put anything in that is not specified by the manufacturer.

Wood Stove Heating Safety:

In order to make sure your wood stove is safe and efficient:

  • Ashes. Regularly remove ashes and properly dispose of them, but do not put them directly in the trash can. Ashes can take several days to cool off, so place your ashes in a covered metal container.
  • Chimney. Make sure to have you chimney cleaned and inspected.
  • Clean. Scrub the outside of your wood stove with a wire brush. This will prevent soot build up and make sure you will get as much heat as possible.

Pellet Stove Heating Safety:

If you plan on using your pellet stove all winter follow these tips:

  • Scrub. Pellet stoves need to be cleaned a lot more often than other heating appliances. Generally once a week or specified by the owner’s manual.
  • Follow the rules. It is crucial to follow instructions for operation and maintenance. Of course, only use the type of pellets that are specified for you model of stove.
  • Batteries. If the power were to go out while you are running your pellet stove, the fan system could quit. This would cause smoke to be released into your home. Having a working battery backup system will keep the fan running smoothly to prevent smoke damage.

Depending on the type of heating system you have installed in your house, make sure that you are using them smart this winter. Although it can be cold, neglecting these safety tips could be costly.

Be sure to reach out to your home insurance agent at Baron to learn about how your heating system affects your house insurance. www.baroninsurance.com/about/our-team/.

Leave a Reply