Woodstove Barrier

Putting a barrier around your woodstove or similar hazzard to protect your dog (or child) from accidental contact and burns.

Woodstove Barrier

by Pam Green, © 2003

Some years ago my precious old man , Bones, was becomming weak and shaky in his rear end. Sometimes he fell down or was accidentally knocked off his balance by the other dogs. Sometimes he had trouble lifting himself from a downed position and needed my help to do so. I worried that he might fall against the woodstove and not be able to move away immediately. My woodstove is a "jacketed" one, ie the actual hot stove is inside an outer steel jacket with more than 6" of airspace between stove and jacket. Thus the outer layer never gets really quick-burn hot, ie it won't burn you if you just touch it briefly; but prolonged contact would be a bad idea. Also the stovepipe is quick-burn hot where it exits out the back of the stove. So there was some risk , more than I wanted my beloved old dog to be running.

Usually we think in terms of putting the dog inside an enclosed safe space to prevent contact with a hazzard outside that barrier. In this case I wanted to put the hazzard inside the barrier, so my dog could have the remainder of the house available.

The idea which occurred was to surround the woodstove with an "excercise pen" , known to most dog folk as an "X-pen". This is an 8 paneled folding fence that is usually placed in a circle (well actually an octagon if you are fussy about geometrical terminology) or alternatively in a square or other polygon shape , ie joining the two ends to form a free-standing pen. Since my stove was up against a wall, it made more sense to arrange the X-pen as a C shaped barrier, with the wall on the open side of the C. (Maybe I should be calling this a D shaped enclosure with the X-pen as the curved portion and the wall as the straight portion.) I also wanted the barrier to be gated right in front of the woodstove loading door, ie where the wood is added into the stove. Fortunately there is a nice brand of X-pen that has its sections joined with a long eye bolt, ie with a loop at the top and a thread and nut at the bottom. The one I found is the "Precision" brand. Otherwise , most brands have the sections joined by little clamped on bits of metal which you would have to pry off to separate sections. I wound up with four sections on one side of the stove and the other four on the other side and the two parts overlapped at the center, ie by the woodstove's loading door, and a couple of snaps to hold the overlap closed. The far ends of the X-pen panels are held onto the wall by eye-screws screwed into the wall and snaps snapped onto the wires of the X-pen panels. This also gave an extra benefit, space to stack a few day's supply of firewood inside the barrier and thus not where a passing dog could knock into it and knock pieces off of it. The barrier can be removed easily and folded up during the non-wood-burning months of the year.

Illustration below; the over-lapped gate is just to the right of the stove :

photo of barrier surrounding woodstove.


site author Pam Green copyright 2003
created 8/09/03 revised 8/09/03
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