Woodburners and Safe Storage of Logs

Why write about Safe Storage of Logs?

With the dark nights upon us, we have decided that now is a good time to warn our readership against a worrying trend. The team and our associates have noticed this trend emerging on social media and in magazines etc, regarding the storage of logs around woodburners.  This is not a thatch specific issue but we feel it is an important one for all woodburner users.  Storing logs in close proximity to a working woodburner is definitely not recommended as it is a fire hazard.

It seems to be a widespread problem.  We have decided to bring it to your attention, at the beginning of this burning season, in the hope that all of our readers can do the maximum to reduce their fire risk.

How not to stack logs around a working woodburner -

Safe Storage of Logs and Thatch Fire Safety

As you all know, we have spent many years in understanding the main causes of thatch fires and promoting our Thatch Fire Safety leaflet which incorporates all the up to date research and information available.  Working with those organisations who also understand the situation, and who provide appropriate advice and information to assist in reducing the chances of thatch fires, has been high on our agenda.

Over the last few years, the main causes of thatch fires have been proven to be different from the old idea of heat transfer through solid brickwork.  The excellent investigations done by Burgoynes Forensic Investigator Keith Benjamin in identifying the main real causes and risks (ejected embers and chimney fires) was instrumental in the driving the research funded by the NFU Mutual and Historic England into woodburners, chimneys and thatch.  All of this, obviously, led to people’s instant kneejerk response of ‘don’t have a woodburner’!  However, we know that this is probably not realistic. Many people have been successfully using a woodburner in their thatched property for years and are unlikely to stop.

There is therefore good advice available from us and our associates on using woodburners safely in thatched properties.  Storage of logs safely is now added to that advice.

Storage of Logs – Advice from Our Associates

Advertisements for woodburners and also information from our chimney sweeping friends have both confirmed that there is a worrying and dangerous level of wood storage adjacent to operational woodburners.  Although using dry wood is advocated, no one advocates drying it next to or on top of the woodburner!  We have the following quote from the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps’ Chairman, Lawson Wight:

“I cannot stress enough that storing logs around your stove can be very dangerous. Professional sweeps find it all too often. I have personally found scorched logs on top of a stove. Last year one of our members attended a house to sweep a chimney and found a gently smouldering log in a pretty looking stack up against the stove! The stove had been out for over six hours! His customer could have gone out or off to bed that night oblivious to the danger. It doesn’t bear thinking about”.

The Guild has a page on their site with a “warning after logs stored indoors catch fire at two homes”.

Also, don’t forget to check the great BurnRight website for safer (and cleaner) burning.  Just remember with thatch not to over-vent a woodburner.

Safe Storage of Logs - NOT

Safe storage of logs - smouldering due to bad storage

Woodburner Safety

Please read our Thatch Fire Safety Leaflet.  If you use a woodburner, light and refuel with care, burn dry seasoned logs (minimum 20% moisture), run at optimum temp (have a flue temp monitor), sweep regularly and don’t allow to slumber over-night.   When your chimney is swept remember that the lining and chimney integrity also need checking.  Insurers often request that regular sweeping and sensible checks have been done.

And….the point of this article.  Please keep your logs away from the woodburner eg in a basket away from the heat etc.  Safe storage of the logs is very important.

Chance to Win a Moisture Meter and Flue Temperature Gauge

Why not enter our recent Caption Competition for an opportunity to win a Moisture Meter (for checking the moisture level of your logs) and flue temperature gauge. Both have been kindly donated by our associates at Valiant Fireside.

And Finally

Using a woodburner safely makes total sense, and is important for insurance purposes, so please do not store you logs around or on your woodburner.  #workingtogether

If you have any queries, please don’t worry; get in touch and we will do our best to help.

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