Wood Stove & Heating Appliance Safety

Building Permit Requirements for Stoves & Fireplaces
Washington County and New York State laws require that purchasers of wood stoves, pellet stoves, and gas-fired appliances apply for and obtain a building permit prior to the installation of such appliances.

Permit applications are available online, at the County Code Enforcement Office, or at any town/village municipal center. The fee for a Heating Appliance permit is $50. A fine of $100 is assessed for any installations done without a valid permit.

Heating Appliance Installation Guidelines
Any heating appliance installed in any building in New York State must be UL-listed or equivalent. Appliances that do not carry the UL (or equivalent) seal CANNOT be installed in New York State.

Heating appliances of any kind must be installed according to their listing and the manufacturer’s instructions. Any deviation from the listed instructions requires written approval from the manufacturer. The installation manual for the appliance must be available for the inspector at the time of inspection.

The appliance shall not be used until such time that the installation has passed inspection and approval is granted by Washington County Code Enforcement.

Improper Installation Causes Fires

Improperly installed heating appliances are a major cause of fires in the United States. Between 2007-2011, 1/3 of all home heating fires and 4 out of 5 home heating fire deaths were caused by improperly installed appliances.

In 2011 alone, the last year for which the statistics are available, 53,600 home fires caused by improperly installed home heating applicances accounted for:
  • 400 civilian deaths
  • 1,520 civilian injuries
  • $893 million dollars in direct property damage
Home heating fires are preventable. Don’t become another statistic! Permits and inspections aren’t just a requirement of the law. They make good sense.