Ask Reece – Avoid accidents and keep to the law

Ask Reece - Accident Prone, Boating Accident

This week Fireplace Product’s Reece Toscani helps with a clumsy customer who is scared he’ll cause an accident with his stove and a concerned owner who is uncertain of the laws and regulations she needs to follow.

Dear Reece,

WHOOPS! I am interested in buying, OOPS, SORRY, a stove of some description, WHOA, but I am scared because I am a bit accident prone. Seeing as I once managed to cut myself with a spoon I would like to know how to be safe around the fireplace.


Mr Bump

Dear Mr Bump.

Fire is a destructive and dangerous force if misused and not respected. That being said there have been a number of advances made in fire safety over recent years.

Fire screens and spark guards help prevent flying sparks from cracking logs from open fires. While the majority of these screens are only freestanding a number of them can be fixed to the wall to prevent children and small pets from accidentally pulling them over and hurting themselves.

Stay cool handles are becoming more common on woodburners nowadays so there is less risk of burning your fingers when opening the door for re-loading. That being said we would always suggest a heat resistant glove/mitten be used all of them time when operating and reloading your stove, as even the best stay-cool handle after hours of use will get warm.

Regular maintenance is of paramount importance and is often overlooked. These simple tips will help keep you safe when using your fireplace/stove.

  • Keep your chimney clean and swept regularly,
  • Burn dry, clean and un-treated wood.

Just remember common sense prevails when handling fire, so always practice good fireside safety and urge others to do the same.




Dear Reece,

I want to have a stove but my friend was told by a friend, who heard from their brother that there are many laws and restrictions from meddling politicians that will affect my choice. I don’t like the sound of this infringement on my right to make fire. What are these laws and restrictions and what does it mean for me?


Ms Anti Establishment

Dear Ms Establishment,

Actually there are many laws and restrictions to keep you and your neighbours safe. Many laws are in place to safeguard you from ‘cowboy builders‘ and installers, HETAS is the governing body for solid fuel installers.

All qualified HETAS installers have to go on regular courses to keep up to date with changes in the law, and new techniques. If you are looking to have a solid fuel (wood or coal) appliance installed we would always suggest that you ensure your installer/builder is HETAS approved. The same goes for gas with GasSafe, and oil with Oftec.

Most electrical appliances we sell come fitted with a standard 13amp plug (unless stated otherwise) and do not require an electrician, please check the product features on a specific product to see if you need a qualified electrician to fit your electric fire/fireplace. Bio-ethanol currently does not have a governing body like solid fuel and gas, so just make sure you have a competent installer/building who will install the product as per the manufactures instructions and building regulations.

Some towns and cities are designated as a “Smoke Control Area” which means that if you wish to install a solid fuel (wood or coal) burning product it must either be exempt from this regulation, or been approved by DEFRA for use within a smoke control zone. All of our solid fuel products on our website state if they have been approved by DEFRA for use in a smoke control area. Please check this prior to ordering or if you are unsure, contact us to confirm.



If you have a question that you would like answered by Reece then please leave a comment below or get in touch via email!

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