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There is nothing like the glow and warmth of a wood stove on a snowy, sub-zero evening.  Sitting there with your feet up, petting your canine baby, and sipping on a hot chocolate; life is good. Until it isn’t.

You notice a smokey smell, but your mind rationalizes that it’s a wood stove and this is normal. After all, your wood stove is in good shape, and your wood is well seasoned and dry.  However, as smoke starts filling the house, the whole mood changes! Now, I’m lucky; my spouse is an all-around jack-of-all-trades and knew what to do in this situation by immediately adjusting the vent. It did get me wondering; what if we hadn’t been home? What if we had taken one of our afternoon, no destination, road trips? We would’ve come home to such a mess. I really don’t know how this happened.

We did learn a few things through this minor inconvenience:

  1.  It could have been a major issue.
  2.  Just because you are doing everything right, doesn’t mean something can’t go wrong.
  3.  Our smoke detector did not work (that was the scariest of all).

We urge you to take a moment and assess your wood stove. Has it been maintained properly? Is there any rust or build upon the pipes or thimbles? Do you have fire retardant material all around it or have flammable materials made their way too close? Maybe you’ve pulled up the rocking chair just to get a little more heat. Is the box of newspaper sitting too close? Do you empty the ash pan regularly? Is your smoke detector working? Do you have enough coverage on your home if something does happen?

Just a quick look around can prevent a major loss. When in doubt, call in a professional for helpful tips on keeping your wood stove working and your family safe. And do not forget to have a conversation with your insurance agent to make sure your coverages are up to date, and that you are properly covered.