Coal Stove Safety Tips to remember before and after your purchase of a coal stove or coal:
Coal Stoves should be installed by a qualified, licensed Heating Technician. Be sure to choose a technician with experience installing Coal Stoves. Install Coal Stoves in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications leaving sufficient space between the unit and furniture, other combustible materials, electrical cords and appliances. View the Stove Owner's Manual for specific installation instructions. Your stove installation must comply with your local building codes and may require a permit for installation.
Read your Stove Owner's Manual to gain a total understanding of your Coal Stove. Coal Stoves should be operated in accordance with the instructions in the Coal Stove User's Manual. Your Coal Stove should be cleaned according to your Stove Owner's Manual. Stoker stoves, Power vented and Direct Vented Stoves may require a thorough monthly cleaning for peak operating performance. Consult the owners manual for instructions. Always remember to clean your stove per manufacturer’s recommendations at the end of every season!
Do not let people who are unfamiliar with your Coal Stove operate the stove.
Never leave small children unattended in the room where the Coal Stove is located.
Hearth gates can be erected to insure that small children and family pets will not come in contact with hot surfaces. Picture of a hearth gate: http://www.saferkidsandhomes.com/assets/images/hearthext.jpg
Coal Stoves require that you always use a high quality carbon monoxide gas detector, either the one supplied with your stove or one of similar quality. Your carbon monoxide detector should either run on batteries or have a battery backup system to insure that the carbon monoxide detector continues to work if power is disrupted. Test the carbon monoxide detector for proper operation on a regular basis. Batteries should be replaced at least semi annually. Many people replace the batteries in their carbon monoxide detector on the day clocks are changed for daylight savings time.
Stoker stoves are equipped with a fume switch will cut the power to the stoker if the venting on the unit or flue pipe needs to be cleaned. Do not disconnect this fume switch.
Make sure you have a high quality smoke detector in your home. Make sure that the smoke detector either runs on batteries or that there is a battery backup to insure that the detector works if power is disrupted. Test the smoke detector on a regular basis. Replace the batteries in the smoke detector at least twice each year. Again consider changing the batteries on the day clocks are changed for daylight savings time.
Make sure your chimney or direct vent is clean, clear and in good repair. Have your chimney inspected by a competent professional. Always use low sulfur, low ash Anthracite Coal of the quality specified in your Stove Owner's Manual.
Have a fire extinguisher nearby and handy and make sure everyone in the household knows how to use your extinguisher. Have the fire extinguisher checked annually by a qualified technician. Your local fire company may provide this service to you. http://unitedhoisting.com/2011/05/what-you-ought-to-know-about-fire-extinguishers
For further information on the safe operation of your stove, please contact the National Fire Protection Association to obtain a copy of their publication Using Coal and Wood Stoves Safely NFPA No. HS-10-1978.