my wife and i are both comfortable running the stove 24/7 for at least 3 months on end in winter. our rule of thumb that we live by, triple check the fire before bed and triple check the fire before leaving. once you get comfortable you will know when the stove is running right and that it is safe to walk away from. Get some burning under your belt and you will understand. But always...TRIPLE check the stove, cuz when you have kids running around you can get distracted. I once told my wife "if the only thing you do before you leave is check the stove, that is what you need to do".