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Use of Wood-Burning Stoves and Solid Fuel-Burning Heating Appliances

Armen Hareyan's picture

Once again, given the expected demands on fossil fuels (oil and gas) for the 2006 " 2007 winter heating season, it is anticipated that many Massachusetts homeowners may again seek to supplement the heating of their homes by using wood or other solid fuels this winter. Remember, you are bringing FIRE into your home by installing a solid fuel-burning appliance.

It is strongly recommended that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms be installed prior to use - note that the State Building Code (780 CMR) and the State Fire Code (527 CMR) have requirements for when and where smoke alarms and CO alarms are required and State law and the Fire Code have required CO detectors retro-fit installed by March 31, 2006 in most residential occupancies.

The information that follows is intended for those who are considering using solid fuel-burning equipment and fireplaces to heat/supplement heat their homes. While specific sections of the Massachusetts State Building Code (780 CMR) are identified for informational use only, this Fact Sheet should not be used as a substitute for all applicable requirements of the Building Code, Boiler Regulations, or the Appliance Manufacturer's installation, operation and maintenance requirements.

The Requirements or Solid fuel-burning appliances

Solid fuel-burning appliances include: factory-built fireplaces, coal-burning appliances, wood stoves, wood pellet stoves, corn and nut shell-burning pellet stoves, wood-fired boilers and any other solid fuel-burning appliance intended to provide heat to a building or space within a building, as well as certain ancillary components such as factory-built chimneys, vent piping and certain specialized installation components for some products.

Solid fuel-burning appliances utilized within the dwelling must be:

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I. Listed as tested in accordance with National Safety Standards and labeled for the intended use.

II. Placed a safe and established distance from combustible materials such as wood, draperies, furniture, carpets, wood flooring, etc..

III. Properly vented to the outside of the building.

IV. Installed and operated in accordance with all applicable Building Code requirements and those of the appliance manufacturer.

V. Inspected by building official to ensure compliance with the Building Code.

VI. wood-fired boilers must be constructed in accordance with the Massachusetts State Boiler Regulations 522 CMR which adopts the A.S.M.E code and must have the applicable A.S.M.E. code symbol stamp.

VI. Maintained in accordance with the appliance manufacturer's requirements.

Reprinted from Source: Massachusetts Department of Health
This page is updated on April 20, 2013.