Recommendations for a small Child-Safe hallway stove/insert/fireplace

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newhomesteaderpa

New Member
May 11, 2023
7
Pennsylvania
Hello!

I would appreciate some recommendations for a wood burning stove in an area of new construction.
The planned placement is in a hallway (see below - the solid black rectangle).

The wife is concerned about the kids burning themselves on a freestanding stove as they walk past and we're trying to figure out a way to minimize that danger.

Details:
  • PA location/winters
  • Total area to heat is 1,070 sq ft, with 8 ft. ceilings
  • House is all one level, with a crawlspace below
  • Stove footprint is only 2' x 3' (but can be adjusted a bit)
  • Hoping to keep the price reasonable
This stove would supplement the existing heat pump/use in the case of losing power/extremely low temps as a stopgap.
I would like wood due to its abundance on our property and not needing to rely on electric or refilling propane/oil.

I appreciate all ideas. Thank you for your help!

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spuldup

Member
Nov 1, 2022
174
16137
I don't think you are going to find a fireplace that isn't going to get hot. Adding a wood furnace near the existing HVAC would be the safest bet.

Is this on the second floor? Do you want to haul wood up finished stairs?

Other point to consider is that kids are quick learners in stuff like this, and they aren't gonna be little for long.
 
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qwee

Feeling the Heat
Jan 17, 2013
286
Idaho
Tight space plus restless children raises the potential of stove burns or accidents. Maybe this is a case where a soapstone wood stove would be best. I think Woodstock isn't too far from PA. They make some good ones.

"....For anyone with small children, soapstone is ideal because the heat on the outside is very stable and won’t quickly cause a burn the way other materials do...."

https://welovefire.com/stoves/5-great-reasons-choose-soapstone-wood-stove/
 
Last edited:

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
99,743
South Puget Sound, WA
Tight space plus restless children raises the potential of stove burns or accidents. Maybe this is a case where a soapstone wood stove would be best. I think Woodstock isn't too far from PA. They make some good ones.

"....For anyone with small children, soapstone is ideal because the heat on the outside is very stable and won’t quickly cause a burn the way other materials do...."

https://welovefire.com/stoves/5-great-reasons-choose-soapstone-wood-stove/
The front of the stove will still be hot and radiant. The same goes for cast-iron jacketed stoves. This is not a great location for a stove. That's why I suggest considering locating on the floor below or by the stairway, or hall entryway if possible.
 
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qwee

Feeling the Heat
Jan 17, 2013
286
Idaho
Ya, that would be safer.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
99,743
South Puget Sound, WA
It would be helpful to see the whole floorplan.

See comments in the second thread
 

Eman85

Minister of Fire
Oct 10, 2022
697
E TN
Kids are smarter than adults give them credit for. Our kids were born into a home that had a woodstove in a main room they had to walk past to get to the kitchen and outside, they never seemed to burn themselves.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
31,978
central pa
"Over a period of eight years, lawn darts had sent 6,100 people to the emergency room. 81% of those cases involved children 15 or younger, and half of those were 10 or younger. The majority of injuries were to the head, face, eyes or ears, and many had led to permanent injury or disability."

Their sale was banned in 1987 after a child's death
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
18,622
Philadelphia
oh ya that was after the great lawn dart massacre of 1980
I was nearly impaled by lawn darts on a few occasions, because like kids all over this land, my neighbor thought the best thing to do was to throw them straight up over a lawn crowded with his friends.

In any case, my wife was terrified over moving into a house with a wood stove, as we had one toddler and another bun in the oven. She didn't grow up with stoves or fireplaces in her house, and was convinced a kid would wander into one. But it didn't take very long for her to see that even the youngest mobile kid knows what "hot" is, and has a natural inclination to stay away from it.

You want to be sure you're not putting a stove in an area where kids are likely to fall or trip into it, while just horse-playing and being kids, so avoid putting it in the "rumpus room". But short of that, they won't seek out the stove, they will be naturally leery of it. One of our stoves was actually in the room where our kids did the majority of their more subdued playing with toys, dolls, and puzzles, and the stove was never a problem for them. We made sure they knew very early on to come get us if any toy ever rolled under the stove, that they were not to retrieve it themselves, and that worked for us.

Also, while the glass will be searing hot on any stove, it's worth mentioning that the top and sides of a convective stove can remain quite safely cool. I can place my hand on my Ashford 30's while they're burning, and probably hold it there for a few seconds before having to pull away, nothing like my old cast-iron stoves. This can add some extra level of safety, although do mind the window on any stove!
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
4,490
SE North Carolina
I don’t know if any stoves that have a floor protection area 2x3 or smaller. Most are at least 3x4 or bigger for hearth pad size.

I don’t think it is a good location. A raised hearth pad is a good way to keep people from accidentally getting too close. A fence is really the only way to keep it super safe but you need enough space to opened the gate and and the stove door to load the stove.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
7,261
Long Island NY
A raised pad where people walk is a good way to create broken toes.

Don't ask me how I know.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
31,978
central pa
thats why they are banning cars because of 50'000 a year die in car crashes, oh sorry we need those
Because we need them. But we put a whole lot of time and money into making them safer.

But back on topic the location certainly isn't what I would pick but I wouldn't worry much about the kids. I grew up around a stove with no problems. As are my kids.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
7,261
Long Island NY
My kids have done great with the stove. But it's not in a place where they frequently walk, horseplay, or run. Tripping accidents have nothing to do with how smart kids are.

If your kids ever run in that hallway, I'd not put a stove there. If you ever walk there with a large thing in your hands (laundry basket?), blocking the view of your feet, I'd not.put your stove there.
 
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joop

Feeling the Heat
Aug 26, 2018
323
beauharnois ,quebec
actually had no problems with my kids or grand kids,except for one who was 14yrs old put his hand right on it to see if it was real ,so i wouldn't worry to much about it .nature has a way of teaching the dumb ones ;lol i'm getting to synical in my old age:(
 

TomMcDonald

Feeling the Heat
Nov 18, 2022
321
Australia
Disregarding safety, utility and convenience for a second. It's also nice to be able to sit in front of a stove which isn't going to happen if it's in the hallway.
 

qwee

Feeling the Heat
Jan 17, 2013
286
Idaho
New construction, you say? Maybe do a little redesign so the stove would have more room - maybe a 45 degree cut on the master bedroom wall, remove the closet/shelf, and maybe redesign kids' rooms to add more space. Now you could have a couple of chairs in front of the hearth, and a place to store some firewood.
 
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sneefy

Member
Feb 20, 2022
133
Western WI
That's a weird floorplan. In PA winters, why have a big cold incision nearly bisecting. the house? Some odd exterior corner choices. Seems like it could be drawn much more efficiently.

A stove in a highly trafficked outside hallway corner sounds like a really bad spot.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
18,622
Philadelphia
That's a weird floorplan. In PA winters, why have a big cold incision nearly bisecting. the house? Some odd exterior corner choices. Seems like it could be drawn much more efficiently.

A stove in a highly trafficked outside hallway corner sounds like a really bad spot.
I thought the same, but then realized that without the first floor plan, we're only guessing at what's really happening with the building footprint. What initially looks like a weird grouping of a lot of exterior surface (= heat loss) in the middle of the house might actually be a balcony to a foyer below.
 

sneefy

Member
Feb 20, 2022
133
Western WI
I thought the same, but then realized that without the first floor plan, we're only guessing at what's really happening with the building footprint. What initially looks like a weird grouping of a lot of exterior surface (= heat loss) in the middle of the house might actually be a balcony to a foyer below.
OP said home is one level, crawlspace below.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
18,622
Philadelphia
Where's the kitchen?
Exactly. Plan shows 3 beds, 3 closets, 1 bath, 1 utility/laundry. No kitchen, no living room, no dining room, no mud room, no boiler or HVAC room. This is not the whole picture.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
31,978
central pa
Exactly. Plan shows 3 beds, 3 closets, 1 bath, 1 utility/laundry. No kitchen, no living room, no dining room, no mud room, no boiler or HVAC room. This is not the whole picture.
Well many places don't have dining rooms mud rooms boiler or hvac rooms. But a kitchen is a needed. And a living room of some sort
 
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