Help, wife is afraid of new insert... :-(

snaple4 Posted By snaple4, Jan 7, 2018 at 7:59 PM

  1. snaple4

    snaple4
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    Dec 18, 2017
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    My wife agreed to let me buy and install a wood insert. Got it installed and started using it. She was a bit apprehensive (concerned about a fire in the house) but didn't say anything since she could feel the warmth. A few days after installing one of our neighbors text my wife around 4pm and said white smoke was coming from the house and they could smell something burning. I told her it was just the fireplace keeping the house warm for her but I hurried home. Everything was good. Now she is throwing a fit about having a fire when we are not home or sleeping... Any suggestions on how to work with her? Any good tutorial videos I can show her?
     
  2. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    Has she ever noticed the "white smoke" coming from the cars tailpipe, or the vent of the gas furnace? Same thing.
    As long as the insert was properly installed and has a chimney/liner that meets wood burning standards, she has nothing to worry about.
    We have had two fires (the wood furnace and wood insert) going here the last couple weeks and as usual during any cold snap in the last few years
     
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  3. Rangerbait

    Rangerbait
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    Tell her that inviting hundreds of Amps of electricity into your home is far more terrifying than any wimpy wood fire could ever be.
     
  4. Ctwoodtick

    Ctwoodtick
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    If she wanted, she could make a small list of main concerns and have her call local stove shop to see either how warranted those concerns are or how to address them so they present the most minimal actual risk. While many people have anxiety about certain things, few people have an actual plan on dealing with any actual risk. For instance, fear of fire in ones home would indicate an escape plan is needed. That said, I bet few people have one. Does she know how to use the fire extinguisher in house? Just throwing out examples.
    If she just runs high with anxiety about a lot of other things, then that’s just what it is.
     
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  5. webby3650

    webby3650
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    Mankind has heated their dwellings with a fire since the dawn of time, it’s now safer than ever. A clean burning fire contained inside a steel box, inside of a solid stone box with an insulated SS liner. It’s about as safe as you could possibly get.
     
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  6. coutufr

    coutufr
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    Some people are afraid of a lot of things for no logical reason. Still their fear is real and will not just go away without some serious work. Try to have her start small fires within the stove. Answer her questions about how the fire is controlled. Ideally have an external wood stove « expert » come to your house with her being present and ask him to certify the safety of your installation. Have an extinguisher nearby and show her how to use it. Put a CO detector in the room where the stove is and have her involved with the selection of it. All those things over time should help her...
     
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  7. RobbieB

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    I don't burn when I'm not home or sleeping either.
     
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  8. Prof

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    Fear/anxiety is often connected to the unknown. Like others have said, lots of things are dangerous in a house, but a properly installed wood stove is no more dangerous than a toaster. I bet your wife knows to not take the toaster in the shower--because she understands it. Apprehensions about heating with wood are good--as long as she is open to learning all of the things that other members have already listed. My in-laws are convinced that we will burn our house down because we heat with wood. I point out that there is a fire inside of their gas furnace, but the difference between that and the fire in my stove is that I have a full understanding of my stove and chimney, and service them yearly. Most people can't say that about their furnace.
     
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  9. rdust

    rdust
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    I always say I’d rather it burns down when I’m not at home. ;lol
     
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  10. RobbieB

    RobbieB
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    I'm just in it for romance and ambiance. I'm hooked to cheap natural gas with a 95% condensing furnace.

    I don't want to worry about something I can't see.
     
  11. cjgoode

    cjgoode
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    My wife is afraid to leave ours burning at night up at our cabin, which is really odd because she grew up going to her parents cabin all the time from a little kid till long after we were married and they only had wood stove heat and when we would go up for a week at a time in the winter, that thing ran 24x7.

    As long as you have a proper fire proof pad in front of the door extending out a minimum of the required distance for that model you are much safer with a wood stove then a fire place. Metal enclosed box with a tightly latching door. Just make sure no coals popped out on the floor after the last load, the door is tight, add a couple of fire extinguishers in the area you can get to, and a few extra fire alarms and Carbon Monoxide detector and you are better then most.

    I do not tell my wife people have been using wood stoves for 100's of years, since all her family is from WV they can tell you why on a road only a handful of the houses are over 150 years old, and how there use to be a house her and there. But they did not have fire departments, codes, or chimney cleaning in those rural areas so different ball game but an discussion/argument I avoid.
     
  12. rdust

    rdust
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    I’ve heated with wood for 9 seasons and don’t give it as second thought anymore. Yesterday my mom and Dad came over and we were getting ready to go to dinner. My mom watched me load the stove a few hours earlier so when we were heading out the door she asked “don’t you have to put it out”. It was an upexpected question since it’s everyday life for us but realized it wasn’t for her so I took a quick second to explain to her why everything would be ok.
     
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  13. DuaeGuttae

    DuaeGuttae
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    I remember reading an old thread here once about people getting comfortable with letting the stove burn overnight or while away from home. It surprised me that so many people had that learning curve, so to speak. Then again, I grew up with wood heat, so it just seemed normal to me.

    I often see one of the moderators suggest to people to practice doing large burns during the day so that they learn what to do before they try it overnight. This seems like a similar situation where your wife just has to get to where she understands the stove and is comfortable. I’d suggest humoring her by not building a fire right before bed or right before leaving home. Sit with her in the evening or on a weekend, build fires together, enjoy some cocoa or popcorn and let her get comfortable with the stove. Once she understands better how it runs through a cycle, she may be more comfortable letting it burn overnight or when you’re out. I doubt that pushing or telling her that her fears aren’t warranted would do a lot of good.

    If she has particular questions, she can ask here. Maybe some others can suggest some articles to her gain an understanding of the burn cycle. There are a few of us female wood heat enthusiasts around here. She might become one.
     
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  14. Charles1981

    Charles1981
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    Six years burning wood. More scary moments with chainsaws and log piles than the stove. Stove runs 24/7. Wife reloads it. We fire it up before we go out and leave it burning...for 7-8 hours... You have a difficult task ahead of you....but time will help substantially. If it makes a noticeable difference in warmth and cost. After a few months it won't be an issue...hopefully.
     
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  15. toddnic

    toddnic
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    My wife was the same way for the first few months. Give it some time and let her get used to having the fire burning. Is she afraid of it burning overnight? That was my first hurdle :)
     
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  16. begreen

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    Not an option for a lot of people. We burn 24/7, reliably and safely as do many folks. This is where a proper and safe installation and burning dry wood translates to peace of mind.
     
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  17. Jan Pijpelink

    Jan Pijpelink
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    When I am traveling for work (about 50%), the lady is running both stoves. Still struggling but she is getting better at it.
     
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  18. blacktail

    blacktail
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    She might get more comfortable with the stove over time. I grew up with wood heat but we never loaded our stoves full. When I got my own house and a new insert, it took me a little time to get comfortable packing it full and letting it burn when I was gone.
     
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  19. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1
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    Put a Temp gauge on the stove. Tell her where the readings should be. She can go over and look at it all the time and know the stove is operating with in its range. as stoves can handle really high temps. Tell her if the gauge reads too high give you a call.

    Install an over temp alarm to let her know if it gets too hot.

    Make sure your wood is dry. Check it with a moisture meter.
     
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  20. Woodrow

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    Respecting the potential for a fire in the house is not stupid. I would try to educate her as best as possible on how the stove works, how to safely light the fire and how to safely control it while it's burning. The more she knows and understands the system, the less she will fear it. Plus, assuming the system was installed, inspected and approved by a professional, go over those elements as well. And also discuss the plan to regularly clean the chimney, the #1 source of house fires (probably, I didn’t actually look that up). And how the modern cat system creates much less creosote, lessening that possibility anyway.

    Also, and this is something that should happen anyway, develop a fire escape plan. A REAL one, not just a BS "yeah we'll do this" plan you simply verbally agree to. Actually practice it...and practice it at night, in the dark. If windows are your escape route, try opening the windows. Many are jammed or sticky or can be confusing which way the latches or panes open, especially at night in a panicked state. Everyone in the house should know how to work the windows and literally be able to do it in their sleep. Also, what happens when you do get the window open? Can you really jump out and do so without getting hurt? Are you even physically able to? Do you need a ladder? And if you have kids or other people living in the house, obviously make sure everyone knows what to do and where to go to meet outside. And to NOT go back into the house once out.

    Otherwise, like others have mentioned, keep working fire extinguishers available. Keep plenty of smoke and CO alarms in the right places and ensure the batteries are always fresh and operational. Keep a yearly checklist that is gone over every year, have it all organized and planned. Show her what you're doing and have her participate in it all. Once she sees all the details that went into the design, install and the redundant safety systems you have in place in the unlikely event there is a problem, she should come around pretty quickly and learn to really enjoy what the stove offers.
     
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  21. begreen

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    Good suggestions Woodrow. Demonstrating a cautious and safety oriented plan backed by safety equipment is a good idea. Acknowledge and understand her concerns and give it time.

    PS: I think wood stoves are comparatively low on the list of causes of house fires. Cooking, candles, portable electric heaters, bad wiring, kids, etc. score higher.
     
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  22. maple1

    maple1
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    You say you bought & installed it. Does that mean all DIY?

    Has the install been inspected by a (reliable) pro?

    If not - getting an inspection might help your situation?

    Otherwise - some fears or phobias just can't be overcome for some folks, so you might be stuck with a situation that you'll have to handle the best way you can.

    (Quite sure the white smoke would have been water vapor - the same thing would likely be seen from an oil or gas burner).
     
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  23. Bad LP

    Bad LP
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    She would never walk into my house. LOL

    Just going to take some time after the nosy neighbor had to open the word hole.
     
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  24. sportbikerider78

    sportbikerider78
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    If you have a furnace it is basically a gas/oil flame thrower in a box. Show here that.

    Does she trust you making the "man" decisions? Like where to get a good bbq sandwhich? Or who has the best deal on ammo? Or does the mustang take 5W30 or 10W40 in May? Or should I really powerslide the family SUV in 3" of snow with it fully loaded with kids and presents on this off camber on-ramp..and if so, do I disable traction control?

    Only you..the man can answer these questions.
     
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  25. Tar12

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    My wife had some reservations about a inside stove as she had never ran one.I included her in every aspect from the purchase to install to the idiosyncrasies of wood burning...this was hard for me as I have little patience...:) but knew it was necessary to set her mind at ease..now that she is trained...:) the only thing I have to worry about now is her wanting the house at 80 plus....but thats ok as I have the peace of mind that she will run it properly....
     
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