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thank God for smoke detectors

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by billz, Jan 5, 2013.

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  1. billz

    billz Member

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    Last summer I installed new smoke detectors. They are connected to my security system. So when one goes off the horn in the hall goes off and the noise is so loud it hurts.

    So, one day last week, my adult son was home alone and loaded a log into the stove. Long story but a coal jumped out and he didn't see it. He was up in his room when the horn went off. The rug infront of the stove had cought and was smoking. He had plenty of time to put it out. The six month old rug has a good size burn but thats all that happened. I hate to think how bad it could have been. I'm not sure if he would have heard a regular smoke detector.

    Son wont touch the stove any more and thats fine with me.

    I love my smoke detectors. The neat thing with this setup is the security system called my cell phone when the alarm went off. Thats cool.

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  2. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Glad to hear a happy ending! A few blocks from me a 14 yo child was not so lucky. They found her in her bedroom unconscious. There was no mention if there were any smoke detectors.

    Matt
  3. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    How close it the rug to the stove?
    I purposely installed my hearth extension 24" out for just that purpose.
    schlot likes this.
  4. billz

    billz Member

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    16" I wish it was more. But where the coal landed was about 22" We now have a nice harth rug - it covers up the burn mark nicely.
  5. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Also, I'd make sure to treat the situation as a life lesson for the boy so long as he's old enough to run the stove and him putting the log in wasn't off limits.

    Hate to see a kid get scared of burning in the long run over some burnt carpet when a good lesson could be learned from it.

    Also, very glad to see that your preparations in terms of the alarm system paid off. Well done and thanks for sharing how important this is.

    pen
  6. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    I decided a few minutes ago that I'm not loading the stove with bare feet anymore [​IMG]

    My hearth is 24"+ past the ash lip, and I still get a popper that hit the carpet now and then.
  7. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Pen, he said adult son

    Those hearth rugs catch on fire pretty easy. Was at a friends and a log rolled out of his open fireplace, off the hearth and onto the hearth rug.
    By the time I got out of the recliner the rug was in flames and melting into the carpet underneath it. Might was well been soaked in kerosene.


    Edit: What's going on with this forum? First it was several of my posts going missing, not it's random lines out of my post?
  8. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    Pretty sure the 16 inches is for a hearth >2 inches high. Loose combustibles like a rug are recommended 36+ away...at least by the stove manuals I've been reading lately.
  9. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    On a smaller scale, a very small coal got out and burned a cigarette sized hole in our Oriental rug. It cost a few bucks to fix. We put a small throw run in front, but like Nate said, I imagine it'd just melt through to the bottom rug by the time we found it out. Are there fiberglass, or decorative fireproof throw rugs?
  10. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    I've had hot coals fly 6 ft out of the stove when reloading before. We use to have a mat in front of the stove hearth, but after burning a few holes in it we decided we didn't really need it since the only purpose of it was for kneeling on when reloading.
    I know some people have carpeted floors in the same room as their stove, I think that's crazy, they are literally "playing with fire".
  11. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I have a side loading door, have about 22 inches of hearth, then hardwood floor. In front, in front of the glass, for heat protection, I have a sheepskin rug, which covers the lip of the hearth, the wood floor, and the first few inches of the oriental carpet.

    I know sheepskin won't melt, and I think it would not ignite quickly. Wool is pretty good that way. Plus, it has the leather backing of the sheepSKIN...

    I would think it would be pretty good protection for a front loader
  12. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    Wow, glad it all came out ok! You can replace a rug....a son, not so much!
  13. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    This morning there was a post on the woodworking forum I go to where a guy's stove pipe came apart last night about an inch. He was tipped off smelling smoke. He was lucky.

    Matt
  14. billz

    billz Member

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    a good size harth is very important. But also is having a good smoke detector system in the room with the stove. and make sure it will wake up people no matter what room or how far they are from the stove room. I spent about $300 in these smokes. I'ld be sleeping in a hotel now and maybe less one family member if not for the smokes.
  15. wingsfan

    wingsfan Feeling the Heat

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    Glad to hear everything turned out for the better, Good thing he didn't go away after loading it and was there when the smokes went off.
  16. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    I am glad you guys are ok and the house Bill !

    We have a fireproof hearth rug in front of the hearth just for that reason. A few years ago I opened the door and BANG out flew a coal chunk that turned into hot ash powder when it landed. The rug just smoldered but did not light. Hearth rugs can be a real life saver if you spend the cash on a good one ! Our hearth is 22" in front of the stove with a 20" hearth mat in front of that.

    Pete
  17. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Interesting... when we installed our alarm system, the alarm company insisted we put fire (heat) detectors in any rooms with stoves or fireplaces, rather than smoke alarms. They said smoke alarms are never recommended for a room where there is a wood stove, due to constant false alarms.

    I've never liked this, since your house needs to be basically on fire before one of those heat detectors will ever pick up anything. In the case above, the home was saved thanks to early detection of some smouldering carpet.

    I was visiting a friend's house last week, and noticed a burn mark in his carpet, almost 10 feet from his fireplace. Asked about it, and yep... ember jumped out of the fireplace during a reload. He has a metal screen and glass doors on this fireplace, one of which is always closed when not reloading or getting the fire started.
  18. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest


    You should not get false alarms unless you have poor draft and smoke comes out when you open the door or there is leaks in the pipe. Those are issues that ned to be addressed by themselves. We have no false alarms going off with ours I test them monthly.

    Pete
  19. billz

    billz Member

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    new/good smokes will wait like 10 seconds after triped and test again. This prevents false alarms. Plus in the stove room I have a smoke/heat detector. Also, the alarm system only calls my cell phone. (self monitored) so false alarms are no big deal.

    In this case the system called my cell and I inturned called my son cause I knew he was home. I was 700 miles away. Cool that I new something was going on the same time he did.
  20. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Pete, I only get smoke in the room on a reload when I forget to open the bypass damper. Trouble is, I'm forgetful...

    However, we get smoke into the room whenever the stove back puffs, which is pretty regular when outside temps are above freezing.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  21. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Depending on the weather getting a fire started in a cold stove can put smoke in the house.

    Matt
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Good to hear that the alarms worked and all it well again. Work with your son, there's a valuable lesson here. He shouldn't be afraid to burn. We all make mistakes, it's what we learn from them that's important.

    Is the hearth rug fiberglass? That's the only non-combustible type out there to my knowledge.
  23. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Some seem to be really fussy.

    Not sure if they get less sensitive as they age but when I first moved into my house ~4 years ago the one in the kitchen/living room would go off if a mosquito farted :eek: .

    Cook something that made even a little WISP of smoke like bacon, steak, etc and it would be going off.


  24. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    The sensors can change over the years . . . hence the reason it is recommended you change them out every 10 years.

    For the record, we generally do not recommend smoke detectors in kitchens, bathrooms or in other areas where there may be chance for false alarms.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  25. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Glad to hear things turned out OK.
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