The Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association of Canada says gas and wood stoves can help residents be prepared during a winter storm.
The association says it is important to have a supplementary heat source when the power goes out, as well as a means of cooking food during extended outages that doesn’t require electricity. They say natural gas, propane and wood stoves all work without a power source, some have extended battery supports and others can generate small amounts of electricity.
Executive director of the HPBAC Laura Litchfield says there are safe strategies to use for a wood stove or natural gas heating system.
“Be sure to have an ash can on hand if you’re using a wood burning stove and be sure to have your appliance whether it’s gas or wood serviced every year and the chimney cleaned if it’s a wood burning appliance.”
Litchfield says people can do self inspections on their wood and gas units as well, using guidelines on the HPBAC website. The HPBAC says natural gas ranges should not be used as a heating source, as this can increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Litchfield says there are ways to cook safely while using a gas or wood stove.
“Cover the food and make sure you are very careful and cautious about grease. Have salt or baking soda on hand in case you do get a grease fire. Try to monitor the heat of the fire to ensure that it’s as consistent as it can be, but obviously check the temperature to make sure [the food] has reached the appropriate temperature. ”
Litchfield also says to not touch wood stoves when burning due to extreme heat, and always use heavy duty oven mitts when cooking. Food cooked in a wood stove should also be wrapped in foil to reduce the chance of improper cooking or grease splatter.
People using gas or wood stoves are also urged to make sure they have enough dry wood or fuel on hand to last for several days in case of a prolonged outage.