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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I have a woodburner, a nice lopi, in need of repainting. Then I will have to install and new flue and build a hearth. I am excited about this, however my wife is for some reason scared to death that having a fire in a woodburner equals the house burning down. In addition to being a career fireman, we both grew up with wood heat, but she is still scared. Anyone have any insight or advice? It also doesn't help that the other night my fire radio went off for a fire behind a woodstove, that wound up being a very very minor fire.

Thanks in advance
 

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Maybe she has a legitimate phobia? What have you been using for cooking so far? Electric stove?
 

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hmm...I know this one. You have my sympathy. It can be very hard to help someone get past this fear. It defies logic (like all phobias) and you have to take small steps.

Start by getting the stove installed meeting every code, etc. Then just do fires when you are both home (during waking hours). If you can get her comfortable with that this year, you will be doing great.

My DH was/is the same way. He can handle it okay now, but still leaves the bulk of the stove and wood chores to me, and we always have to put out the fire before we go anywhere if nobody is home...It is VERY challenging.

~Wendy
 

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In addition to installing your stove purchase several extinguishers (and train everyone how to use them), make up an exit plan for your house and make sure you have everything you need to evacuate safely. Every one should do this anyway, but it's especially important if your wife has concerns about using a wood burning stove.

Also, have you *asked* her why she's concerned and listened to her reasons? It may be she'd be more comfortable if this wasn't a DIY project or she may have had a house fire in her past. You need to know the source of her worry.
 

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Yesterday morning My wife was talking to the insurance man and I had a chimney fire. She didn't know about it until after the fire was out. It didn't do any damage but being a retired fire fighter I did the right thing.:bow: I closed off the oxygen and let it burn out. Then I cleaned the flue and checked it out. I used a brush to clean the flue and now have another fire going in the wood stove. I have a double insulated flue and it did the thing it does best and that is to protect the area around it from getting too hot. I also checked the roof to see if the fire was contain in the flue. I now have to remember to clean my flue more often.:clap:
 

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I used to be terrified of fire. I worked on it & became less afraid - which is good since wood is our only source of heat! I still worry when dh loads up the stove when we are going out, but so far, the house is still here!

Tell your wife she's not alone. But fire in a properly maintained wood stove is way safer than bonfires that end up out of control. I'm still scared of bonfires.
 

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It defies logic (like all phobias) and you have to take small steps.
As a person who has a phobia or two, I can assure you that not all phobias defy logic. They may defy the logic of people who don't SHARE them, but they are perfectly logical to those of us who have them :)

I agree that the first thing to do is ask why she doesn't like the woodburner. Even if the reason doesn't make sense to you, take it seriously. Maybe try asking "what would need to be done to make you feel more comfortable with this?"
 

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I suggested a pellet stove in the new room we added a few years ago. Hubby said no way, was he putting a live fire in the house. So we compromised.
We now have a outside wood furnace and it means pretty soon, I can tell the propane people where to go after 18 yrs doing business with them.
I really wanted the outside furnace over the pellet stove, but I had to let hubby make the choice. He would be the one keeping it going in the winter. He decided the OWB, and I get a warm house , and seeing the electric bill go down also, as the OWB also heats our hot water :)
 

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So, I have a woodburner, a nice lopi, in need of repainting. Then I will have to install and new flue and build a hearth. I am excited about this, however my wife is for some reason scared to death that having a fire in a woodburner equals the house burning down. In addition to being a career fireman, we both grew up with wood heat, but she is still scared. Anyone have any insight or advice? It also doesn't help that the other night my fire radio went off for a fire behind a woodstove, that wound up being a very very minor fire.

Thanks in advance
Yup, get an outside woodburning furnace, set it up a good distance from the house and pipe the hot water in. Or there is always gas in a modern safe furnace or stove. This is not only 100 percent safer than lighting fires in the house its also tremendously cleaner. no smoke, no ashes, no wood shavings and dirt, and its so safe, Its also warmer for the same amount of wood as you dont have the thing pulling cold air in to provide oxygen to the flame. I burned wood for a lotta years, numerous "Incidents" that could have easily gotten out of hand had someone not either woke up choking on the smoke or had not been around at the moment. Had a hole burned through the floor, and was spreading pretty good when it was caught once. another incident around the very top of the flue where it went through the rafters, had to fight that one with a glass of water, and a zillion trips up and down the ladder. Double flues help, up till the liner cracks with that first good flue fire, then the creasote can leak down between it and the outer walls of the flue or better, through the concrete block that is so popular for flues, and pool up creating quite a fuel source for next time. There is no way I am going to ever risk life and home to a woodburner ever again. I dont have a phobia, its just that I have been there done that and dont like it.
 

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As a person who has a phobia or two, I can assure you that not all phobias defy logic. They may defy the logic of people who don't SHARE them, but they are perfectly logical to those of us who have them.
MariaAZ, I was speaking of the dictionary definition, but you are right. You cannot pass off someone elses phobia as "irrational". For some reason that does nothing to help them heal....sigh.
 

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The only problem with either a pellet stove or an outdoor furnace is that when the power is off, you still won't have heat!

Kathleen
 

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I'm terrified of my gas stove/oven. I'm afraid it's going to blow up. But I still use it because I know in my head that it probably won't...but it might! :)
 

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Before you even begin to push your wife call your insurance agent and see if they will continue to insure you with a wood stove, many places won't or if they do the rate will be higher than any savings. My kids' dad, his dad and most of my uncles and one of my grandfathers were all firemen they would be very leary of me having a wood stove in the house due to kids and animals and the fact that my house is over 60 years old so the wood is dry.
 

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Would it help if you promised to have the fire out before you went to bed?

I had a similar discussion with my father about wiring my potting shed, by the way. He wanted to put the wires in the wall, which is standard. I am insisting that the wires be the kind that are encased in plastic and run along the upper wall: I have seen this done down south. I am afraid that otherwise, mice will gnaw the wires and I will not see until a fire happens. I am not afraid of fire in the HOUSE< as I knoe I have no mice. But, I cannot tell in the shed!

Since it is my potting shed, I will have it my way and enjoy peace of mind! Those wires will be where I can SEE them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Perhaps she needs a burning wood stove where she can see it, and have it out when she sleeps?
 

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Install it correctly, burn it correctly, then clean it every month and show her how there is no build up of creosote in it (because you are doing everything right). Once she sees there's no chance of chimney fires she'll probably feel better about it.

Jennifer
 

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Install it correctly, burn it correctly, then clean it every month and show her how there is no build up of creosote in it (because you are doing everything right). Once she sees there's no chance of chimney fires she'll probably feel better about it.

Jennifer
Agreed.


Yup, get an outside woodburning furnace, set it up a good distance from the house and pipe the hot water in. Or there is always gas in a modern safe furnace or stove. This is not only 100 percent safer than lighting fires in the house.....
...Until CO kills everyone in the house.

Installation and maintenance is the key to safety of ANY heat source. Modern gas furnaces are no less dangerous than modern wood stoves that have been properly installed, used and maintained.
 

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Ya know, I'm just guessing here...don't know the actual statistics....but based on TV news stories around here it seems like more families die from house fires and/or carbon monoxide poisonings from gas furnances than from woodburning stoves.
 

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I was afraid of mine at first, too. After all, it's a FIRE in the HOUSE (albeit contained). As wood is my main source of heat, and I'm the only one here to keep it going, I've learned all I can about keeping the home fires burning, so to speak. I have the flue cleaned often, have it inspected by a professional once a year, and have learned to become more comfortable with it.

At one point, I was congratulating myself that I'd "mastered" the woodstove. Immediately, I said "WHOA". No one "masters" a woodstove! But you do learn to exercise caution and common sense and you do become more comfortable.

Above all, NEVER become complacent! And only burn seasoned wood.

Just my two cents.

NeHi
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Before you even begin to push your wife call your insurance agent and see if they will continue to insure you with a wood stove, many places won't or if they do the rate will be higher than any savings. My kids' dad, his dad and most of my uncles and one of my grandfathers were all firemen they would be very leary of me having a wood stove in the house due to kids and animals and the fact that my house is over 60 years old so the wood is dry.

I did speak with the insurance and they said it would be a total of $75.00 extra a year. My propane bill averages $2500 a year...the only propane appliance we have is the furnace, and its only 12-15 years old.

Thanks for all of the advice, she says she is also worried about it being too hot downstairs and too cold upstairs. Our house is about 70 years old and an old farmhouse.
 

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Unless you have electric heat, or your furnace is a gas pack unit located outside the house, you have a fire in the house when you heat. Only diff is the fuel source. That might be a good way to explain it.
 
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