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General Information

All solid fuel burning equipment and assemblies require a permit, including but not limited to:

  • Wood Stoves
  • Pellet 7 Corn Stoves
  • Coal Stoves
  • Manufactured Fireplaces
  • Combination Fuel Furnaces
  • Masonry Fireplaces
  • Chimneys – Masonry & Manufactured
  • Chimney Repairs & Relining
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are required

Permits

For a New Installation

To obtain a permit you must provide the following information with the completed application. Application forms are available at theTechnical Services Department:

  • Tape Location or Instrument Survey Map

Copies of this map are often included with the papers you received at closing or at the office of the mortgage holder. Frequently a copy may be found in the Town Property Records files. Please call ahead to determine availability.

  • Make & Model Number of any Manufactured Appliance or Chimney to be Used

Manufactured appliances and chimneys must be listed as tested by a laboratory recognized by the State of New York. Proof of listing usually accompanies the installation documents and, in the case of appliances, you will find a tag affixed to the appliance itself.

  • Make/Description of Required Wall and Hearth Construction

All appliances must be installed on a non-combustible base in conformance with the installation instructions for the equipment. These instructions often specify combustibility, size, and composition, including the heat transfer resistance rating that must be achieved.

  • Chimney Termination Location Information

You must be able to provide the distance between the proposed chimney and operable windows, roof, adjacent buildings, etc. When making your application, you will need to discuss this with the Technical Services Department personnel.

  • Contractors As Applicants (Requirements)

The contractor must provide a Certificate of Liability Insurance, which will be kept on file with the Town of Greece. A Certificate of Worker’s Compensation Insurance will also be required if a contractor has employees.

  • Permit Fees

Permit fees vary from year to year. They are user fees that offset the costs of permitting, inspection, and records maintenance. The State of New York requires records for this type of permit and inspections performed, and the Town of Greece must maintain these records and keep them on file for (7) seven years after the demolition of the building containing the appliance or chimney. For all practical purposes, these records must be maintained forever.

To Obtain a Permit for Existing Appliances and Chimneys

It is not always possible for the Town to issue a permit for pre-existing solid fuel burning appliances or chimneys. The Town will perform a courtesy inspection at your request as the first step in the permitting and certification process. Often pre-existing installations that were installed without permits and not inspected do not confirm to the building code and must be removed.

Inspections

Inspections are required during construction. A final "on completion" inspection resulting in the issuance of a Certificate of Compliance is required before you can use the equipment. To request an inspection call (585) 723-1923. The appliance installation manual including venting requirements must be on site for the inspector's use at the time of inspection.

Chimneys

  • Masonry fireplaces and the chimney serving a masonry fireplace are inspected before footings are poured, then upon installation of the first flue and at completion before use.
  • Masonry chimneys serving a manufactured appliance (i.e. wood stove) are inspected before footings are poured, then at placement of the first flue above a connector, and again upon completion before use.
  • Factory built chimneys are inspected after installation but before enclosure. A copy of applicable installation instructions must be maintained on the site for the inspector’s use during this inspection. The chimney is also inspected upon completion.
  • Chimney repairs/relinings – since chimney repairs vary depending on the degree of work needed, you should consult department personnel at the time of permit application to determine the appropriate inspection procedure.

Appliances

  • Masonry fireplaces are inspected at placement of the first flue above the smoke chamber and upon completion before use.
  • Woodstoves or factory built fireplaces are inspected before enclosure at a time when required distances to combustible and hearth/wall protection construction is visible. Final inspection before use is also required. Manufacturer’s installation instructions must be maintained on the site for inspector’s use during the inspection.
  • Fireplace inserts are inspected after direct connector/liner is installed but before unit is placed in the fire box. Final inspection before use is also required. Manufacturer’s installation instructions must be maintained on the site for inspector’s use during the inspection.
  • Solid fuel and combination furnaces are inspected during installation, before the chimney is enclosed, and upon completion before use. Manufacturer’s installation instructions must be maintained on the site for inspector’s use during the inspection.
  • Masonry fireplace repairs – since chimney repairs vary depending on the degree of work needed, you should consult department personnel at the time of permit application to determine the appropriate inspection procedure.

Certificate of Compliance

  • A Certificate of Compliance will either be mailed to the property owner at a later date, or hand delivered at the time of final inspection.
  • Receipt of this certification allows you to start using the equipment. It is recommended that masonry installations be allowed to "cure" for thirty (30) days before being used.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • All chimneys must end at least twenty (20) feet from any building opening and penetrate a roof to be at least two (2) feet above any portion of the roof construction within ten (10) feet of chimney.
  • Hearths for wood stoves and manufactured fireplaces must be constructed of the proper materials in the required thickness. For specific requirements, contact the appliance manufacturer for recommendations.
  • Make sure the room in which the appliance is located is sufficient to provide required combustion air.
  • Flues must be sized in accordance with the provisions of N.F.P.A. 211, RCNY and manufacturer's specifications.
  • Connectors between an appliance and a chimney must be secured with rivets or screws and have proper clearances to combustibles.
  • Hearth extensions must be sized in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications or, in the case of masonry fireplaces, the requirements of N.F.P.A. 211, RCNY and manufacturer's specifications.
  • Mantles must be placed so that the combustible components.
  • Connectors should be installed with the crimped end down so precipitate runs back into the appliance.
  • All appliances must be listed by and bear the label of an accredited testing laboratory.

Some Hints on Safe Wood Burning

  • Regular (at least annual) cleaning of the appliance and flue is necessary. Inspection should be made at the time of entire assembly to assure that all components are in working order.
  • Ashes should be placed in a metal container with a tight fitting lid outside, away from combustible materials. Do not store ashes in a garage.
  • Combustible decorative materials such as draperies and art work should be kept at a safe distance from the unit and chimney.
  • Store wood and kindling intended for the appliance a safe distance from the appliance.
  • Don’t subject your masonry fireplace to a high heat fire until the masonry mass has had an opportunity to warm thoroughly.
  • Provide a non-combustible childproof barrier in front of every appliance to prevent contact burns.
  • At least once each day, wood stoves should be permitted to run hot for approximately fifteen minutes. This practice removes small amounts of creosote.
  • If using chemical cleaners, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for frequency and amount of use. Most cleaners contain sulfur derivatives that when combined with moisture, form sulfurous or sulfuric acid. Overexposure to these compounds could reduce chimney life.

See Information Resources

What to do in the Event of a Fire

  • In the event of a fire involving your fireplace, chimney, or wood burning appliance:
  • Call 911. Do not attempt to extinguish the fire before notifying the fire department.
  • Alert other family members and meet outside your home at your prearranged meeting spot.
  • Leave a light on outside your home so the fire department can quickly locate you.
  • Do not re-enter your home until after the fire department has determined that it is safe to do so.

Warning: A Certificate of Compliance issued by the Technical Services Department is required by the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code before placing any solid fuel burning appliance or chimney into operation. An inspection by a code enforcement personnel must be made before placing a solid fuel burning appliance or chimney into operation after a fire.