Safety | Blogs & Information

A Wood Stove to Prevent Chimney Fires

As you relax in front of your fire, the last thing you are probably thinking about is your chimney. If you don’t pick the right wood stove before you light those winter fires, your enjoyment may be very short-lived. Dirty chimneys and old unsafe wood stoves can cause chimney fires, which destroy homes and injure people. Chimney fire safety is hugely important to the safety of your home.

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) there are more than 22,000 chimney fires in the United States each year and chimney fires are a leading cause of house fires.

What is a chimney fire?

Chimney fires occur when creosote, the residue from wood burning stoves, accumulates on the inner walls of a chimney.  This creosote is highly combustible and when it builds in sufficient quantities and the internal temperature of the chimney is high enough, the result could be a chimney fire.

What does a chimney fire look like? According to a wood burning stove safety PSA from the CSIA:

“Chimney fires can burn explosively – noisy and dramatic enough to be detected by neighbors or people passing by. Flames or dense smoke may shoot from the top of the chimney. Homeowners report being startled by a low rumbling sound that reminds them of a freight train or a low flying airplane. However, those are only the chimney fires you know about.”

But the majority of chimney fires go undetected. These undetected chimney fires can cause damage to the chimney structure that makes your home more vulnerable to a catastrophic chimney fire.

The video below shows a live chimney fire demonstration to show you how important chimney fire safety really is (source: CSIA):

 

How to prevent chimney fires

There are only two ways to prevent chimney fires: take away the fuel and take away the match. For chimney fires, the fuel is the creosote and the match is an overly hot fire in your wood stove, also called an over-fire.  MF Fire’s Catalyst places an emphasis on wood burning stove safety, which is why it’s the first safe wood stove to solve both parts of the chimney fire equation.

Less Creosote

All wood stoves produce some smoke, and this smoke can accumulate in the chimney as creosote. Catalyst is an ultra-clean wood burning stove and produces far less soot and smoke than traditional wood stoves, which can proactively prevent chimney fires. Catalyst is so clean that it won the MIT Clean Energy Prize and back-to-back wood stove low emissions prizes at the Wood Stove Decathlon and Next Generation Wood Stove Design Challenge.

No Over-fire

The Catalyst smart app not only works to prevent over-fire, it also alerts you when one may be happening

Even the most experienced wood stove users sometimes over-fire their stoves. Over-firing occurs when too much wood is loaded or the fire receives too much oxygen, frequently because a damper or a catalytic converter bypass is left open. Over-firing damages your stove, weakening and warping it’s metal.  The extra hot gas vented from an over-fired stove can, in turn, ignite the creosote buildup in your chimney and cause a chimney fire – the most dangerous situation for any wood stove owner.

Fortunately, MF Fire’s Catalyst is the leader in wood burning stove safety. It comes with an advanced safety system that automatically prevents over-fire before it occurs. In traditional wood stoves there is no way to detect when over-firing is occurring.  In Catalyst, we added real-time monitoring inside the wood stove that detects when over-firing is about to occur triggering the stove to automatically regulate the fire back to a safe level. The Catalyst Smart App also notifies the owner with a simple alert of the event. This advanced system is the only solution on the market that proactively stops over-firing, which can prevent chimney fires before they start. The Catalyst actually proactively promotes chimney fire safety!

Demand a safe wood stove

If you are using an older wood stove, but are considering upgrading your stove, demand a safe wood stove that can proactively prevent chimney fires. The Catalyst has the chimney fire safety benefits allow you to comfortably and safely get the most out of your stove experience. Learn more here about wood burning stove safety and the benefits you deserve in a modern, safe wood stove.

 

Start Your Wood Stove the Easy Way with our Digital App

A few years back I had a pretty typical wood burning stove. My wife and I loved the fire, we loved burning wood, but boy was it a pain to start.

Starting a Fire in a Wood Stove the Old Way:

Our old wood stove was impossible to start and filled the room with smoke. Sound familiar?

In our old wood stove, a brand that shall not be named, getting a fire going felt like a secret ritual.

  1. Load the wood.
  2. Open the bypass and the damper.
  3. Make a careful cradle with kindling and copious amounts of newspaper.
  4. Strike a match to light the newspaper.
  5. Match goes out.
  6. Strike another match.
  7. Actually light the newspaper.
  8. Shut the door halfway and back up rubbing your eyes because smoke is now filling the room.
  9. The fire goes out leaving half of the newspaper unburned.
  10. Strike another match and try again.
  11. Add more newspaper and kindling.
  12. Crack the door a little wider.
  13. Finally get a fire going, shut the door, and come back ten minutes later to realize the fire has gone out again.
  14. Strike another match.
  15. Give up and use a propane blowtorch to light every last piece of wood.
  16. Latch the door a full hour after you started.

We liked fire enough to go through this ritual almost every winter morning. It wasn’t fun spending an hour on my knees with watering eyes, poking and prodding a fire in a cold house—all before coffee. I knew that there had to be a better way. Catalyst, MF Fire’s smart wood burning stove, is that better way.

An easy to start wood stove

With the Catalyst wood stove all you need to do is Load it, Light it, and Lock itTM. From there, our smart burning technology takes over and you can enjoy a beautiful fire in only three minutes. In our video below I build a fire in Catalyst to show you how easy it is.

The problem with traditional wood stoves is airflow. In the early stages of burning the fire needs a lot of air to keep the fire going. But in a typical wood stove, you need a big fire before the stove starts to draft well – to really pull air through the fire. For the fire to get enough airflow in those early stages you need to have the damper all the way open and usually keep the door open too. But letting fire burn like this is dangerous and the leading cause of the 22,000 chimney fires in the U.S.A. each year. With Catalyst, we’ve fixed this problem by directly controlling airflow.

Catalyst easy automated smart wood stove

Catalyst is the first wood stove that can be controlled with your smart phone or tablet.

Catalyst is an automated wood stove, eliminating the need for you to constantly adjust to achieve an ideal flame. We do this by using our patent pending TurboStartTM turbofan to drive airflow throughout the stove when and where it is needed. When you open the door to build a fire in Catalyst, our smart sensors sense that you are about to build a fire. The turbo fan kicks on to deliver air to your growing flame and to keep smoke inside the stove, instead of filling your room.

As the fire grows, Catalyst watches carefully, adjusting the airflow as needed and working to heat your home to the room temperature as set by our Catalyst smart app. Even better, Catalyst’s automation helps you get the most out of every fire boasting a smart efficiency of 90%.

Building a fire in a wood stove shouldn’t be hard. With Catalyst, it isn’t. To learn more about the Catalyst automated wood stove click here or subscribe to our newsletter for more updates.

Safe Wood Stove Advancements that Protect Your Family

Modern Wood Stove Safety Advancements

One of my favorite winter activities is building a fire. I love setting the logs, stoking the flames, and settling in for quality family time around it. This is nothing new. Fires have been a center piece of family life since we blocked the cave entrance with a fire at night for safety to ward off predators. This pleasure has always come with a certain level of risk. Even a modern safe wood stove creates risk of chimney fires and house fires. We accepted this risk rather than give up fire – there was no other alternative.

Fortunately, new advanced wood stove safety features from MF Fire™ remove fire risks seen in all other wood stoves. Let’s go over these key wood stove safety risks and explore what has been developed to make a safe wood stove.

Preventing Over-firing and Chimney Fires

Even the most experienced wood stove users over-fire their stoves. Over-firing occurs when too much wood is loaded and provided with too much oxygen, frequently when the catalytic combustor is bypassed and the flue damper is left open. It can happen when we are distracted, juggling too many activities at once or when we are cold and tired. Over-firing can compromise your wood stove safety by damaging your stove, weakening and warping its metal. The extra hot gas vented from an over-fired stove can, in turn, ignite the creosote buildup in your chimney and cause a chimney fire – the most dangerous situation for any wood stove owner. This occurs more than 22,000 times a year in the United States and is a leading cause of house fires[1].

Safe Wood Stoves Prevent Chimney Fires

Chimney fires are the leading source of home heating fires in homes and occur more than 22,000 times a year in the US. Source: CSIA and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Preventing over-firing is possible with MF Fire’s advanced safety system built around its stove automation and smart controller. Traditional stoves are manual at all phases of use and there is no way to detect when over-firing is occurring. MF Fire changes this. In Catalyst™, we added automation and monitoring to create a smart wood stove. Real-time monitoring inside the wood stove detects when over-firing is about to occur triggering the stove to automatically regulate the fire back to a safe level. The Catalyst Smart App also notifies the owner with a simple alert of the event. This advanced system is the only solution on the market that proactively prevents chimney fires and over-firing, protecting your household and ensuring continued safe wood stove use.

Closing Open Doors

When you leave open door of a wood stove, there is an opportunity for an ember or shifting log to escape and start a room fire. This happens at startup when people often leave the door open to help deliver a faster start, when hot loading, or when the latch isn’t closed properly. Catalyst’s technology advances make for a safe wood stove by minimizing the risk of an open door.

Fast, Easy Start

A cold startup is notoriously difficult for even an experienced wood stove user. Due to chimney draft problems, the door is often left open to provide maximum oxygen to the fire and air is drawn into the fire box as newly heated air rises. The problem is mother nature has a column of heavier cold air pressing down against the hot air. This in turn forces smoke and other particles, including embers, out into the room. Speeding this process has a big impact on open-door safety.

MF Fire introduced Load it, Light it, Lock it™ technology to minimize this effort and to minimize open-door time. Catalyst’s TurboStart™ fan forces air into the firebox to speed combustion without having to keep the door open, securing against this type of risk.

Smart Alerts

safe wood stove alerts

Smart alerts warn you when the door is left open or when over-firing occurs to help protect your family

When the stove door is accidentally left open during a start, reload or by a younger member of the household, the sooner you know about it the safer your home and family will be. One safety innovation that proactively addresses this scenario is the open-door alert. The Catalyst Smart App has wood stove safety features, including a built-in alarm that will alert an owner that a door has been left ajar, enabling the door to be secured quickly and safely.

Demand A Safe Wood Stove

If you are using an older wood stove, but are considering upgrading your stove, demand a safe wood stove. Catalyst wood stove safety benefits allow you to comfortably and safely get the most out of your stove experience.

If you like this article, be sure to click our like button below and share with your friends on Facebook.[fblike]

[1] Source: Chimney Safety Institute of America and the US Product Safety Commission.

Paul LaPorte is the CEO of MF Fire

X
Suggestions